New Mexico man charged with felony after cat tests positive for meth

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (WLS) -- A man in Las Cruces, New Mexcio, has been charged with a felony after his cat tested positive for methamphetamine, police said.

Police said officers responded to the home of 39-year-old Aaron Spaulding on June 3, for reports he battered his girlfriend and held her against her will. Officer learned an argument turned physical, and Spaulding allegedly punched his girlfriend multiple times and took away her cell phone.

During the course of their investigation, police learned Spaulding may have been neglecting his two pets, a dog and a cat, and abusing the cat by squeezing it until it cried. Police said Spaulding was also accused of strangling the cat and forcing it to eat methamphetamines.

The cat was tested for drugs and returned a positive result for meth. The cat was treated by a veterinarian and adopted into a caring home, police said.

Spaulding was initially charged with false imprisonment, two counts of battery against a household member, interference with communication and two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Once the cat tested positive for methamphetamine, one of the animal cruelty charges was upgraded to a felony.

He was released on bond on June 24.
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