SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Southwest Miami-Dade man has been accused of setting a caged cat on fire and feeding the animal’s remains to a group of dogs.
Miami-Dade Police have charged 19-year-old Roberto Hernandez with animal cruelty.
The initial crime took place on July 10, 2016. However, details and video of the chilling crime were recently released.
The incident took place at the suspect’s home on the 16600 block of Southwest 174th Ave. Video shows a person who, police said, is Hernandez, pouring some sort of combustible liquid on a cat trapped in a cage before setting the animal on fire.
Police said Hernandez stood by and watched as the animal burned alive.
According to the Miami Herald, prosecutors said Hernandez then fed the cat’s corpse to a group of dogs.
Hernandez was only 17 at the time of the incident.
Isabel Zapata rescues animals in her free time, and she said something like this is horrific, but it doesn’t surprise her.
“The amount of abuse I have seen in the last 10 years I’ve been living in this neighborhood is, it just doesn’t impress me anymore,” she said.
According to the Miami Herald, Hernandez’s lawyer said the animal was not a cat, but a raccoon, and he claims his client grew up in a broken home.
However, whether the animal was a cat or raccoon, it wouldn’t make a difference under Florida’s animal cruelty law.
The paper adds that the farm where the incident took place was also used for illegal cockfighting in the past.
Prosecutors hope to see jail time of up to a year, followed by probation for Hernandez. However, a judge will ultimately decide his fate.
“At the end, nobody does anything. There’s a few rescues here trying to do what we can for the dogs, for the cats, for the animals but it’s not enough,” Zapata said.
Hernandez has a court hearing scheduled for March 14.
Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.