Local groups react to charge filed against 19-year-old allegedly seen in cat-kicking video

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The man accused of being behind an egregious act caught on camera now faces an animal abuse charge, but some wonder why it's only a misdemeanor.

Jackson County prosecutors charged 19-year-old Jonathan Taylor with misdemeanor animal abuse after a video of a cat being kicked like a football went viral.

It happened on May 22, video of the act surfaced and quickly went viral, and Kansas City Animal Control launched an investigation working with police to find the culprit.

“Once our findings were turned over to the prosecutor's office, I’m glad they worked as quickly as they did because we want to send a clear message that animal cruelty is not going to be tolerated,” John Baccala of the Kansas City Neighborhoods and Housing services department said.

“I’d like to think that they took this with the seriousness that we’ve all taken it with and are doing what they can and the most they can in this penalty phase of the case,” Baccala continued.

The cat in the video was later found dead near the Center High School football field. Some feel the person behind the video got off too easy.

“It was a horrifying thing to see, it still is today. It’s really sad this can happen to an animal and somebody gets a misdemeanor,” Tori Fugate of KC Pet Project said.

A spokesperson with the Jackson County prosecutor’s office told FOX4 News that none of the other people seen or heard in the video, or the person who took it, have been charged.

“This is still a very big issue in Kansas City. We see it every day here at KC Pet project where an animal has been mistreated. We do hope that the future is a little bit brighter for a lot of these animals, that they will receive justice for what has been done to them,” Fugate said.