ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis man pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor charge of animal abuse for fatally striking his 5-month-old kitten.
Police said Andres Wiltz, 23, brought the kitten to a veterinarian on Dec. 9, 2013. It was pale, cold and straining to breath.
Authorities said the veterinarian determined the kitten had chest and kidney bruising, a large tear in its right lung and a broken pelvis and ribs. The kitten had to be euthanized.
Police said Wiltz admitted that the kitten became unresponsive after he struck it with an open palm multiple times to discipline it.
Wiltz was originally charged with a felony count related to the incident. One of his lawyers, Eric Selig, said it was reduced as part of plea negotiations with the understanding that Wiltz would continue going to counseling, as he has done since the charge was issued.
His one-year jail sentence has been suspended for two years, during which time Wiltz will be on unsupervised probation.
Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards ordered that Wiltz no longer own any pets. He also must also take an animal care class and send the court a record of his counseling every three months during at least the first year of his probationary period.