Jail Time, Psychiatric Care Urged in Cat-Burning Case

PETA Calls For Vigorous Prosecution of Suspect Charged After Allegedly Burning a Cat to Death and Feeding the Animal's Body to Dogs

For Immediate Release:
March 7, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Miami – Today, PETA sent an urgent letter to Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle asking that her office vigorously prosecute a cruelty-to-animals case allegedly involving Miami resident Roberto Hernandez. The felony charges reportedly filed against Hernandez apparently stem from surveillance video footage from 2016 that allegedly depicts an individual dousing a caged cat in accelerant, watching as the animal burns to death, and feeding the charred body to his dogs.

“If the accusations are true, this man set fire to a cat and casually watched as the engulfed animal writhed in agony,” says PETA Senior Director Stephanie Bell. “PETA is calling on authorities to make sure that any convictions in this case come with jail time, psychiatric care, and a ban on contact with animals, including during community service.”

In its letter, PETA points to the link between violence against animals and violence against humans. The American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of such crimes in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals and has categorized cruelty to animals alongside arson and homicide in its national felony crimes database.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a supremacist worldview. A copy of the group’s letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind