Winnipeg police have laid charges against a suspect and continue to look for a second person after a three-month-old kitten was beaten and later had to be euthanized due to injuries.

A woman, who didn’t want her name used, said she got the kitten for her four-year-old daughter only a week ago because the young girl had been playing with strays in the neighbourhood.

The woman said she was stunned by the attack.

“That’s an innocent animal who doesn’t even know what’s going on. That’s disgusting,” said the woman.

On 12:30 a.m. on July 17, emergency crews were called to the 500 block of Pritchard Avenue for a report of a disturbance.

Officers said an investigation showed two female suspects, one armed with a bat, went to a residence belonging to another woman who they knew as part of an ongoing dispute.

One of the suspects used the bat to strike the three-month-old kitten owned by the resident, said police. The resident ran back to her home and the second suspect grabbed the bat and smashed out a window.

Both suspects then fled.

The cat suffered serious injuries and was taken to a veterinary clinic. It later had to be euthanized due to its injuries, said police.

Around 5:30 p.m. on July 17, a 23-year-old female suspect was located and is facing charges for possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, along with a charge for killing or injuring an animal. Police have not released her name.  

A warrant has been issued for the second suspect for possession of a dangerous weapon and mischief under $5,000.

“I hope they get (jail) time, not a slap on the wrist and a fine because an animal is an animal. They’re part of a family,” said Jamie Michell, a neighbour who heard the fight Tuesday.

Lynne Scott from Craig Street Cats said the mistreatment of cats is unfortunately common in Winnipeg.

She currently cares for more than 100 strays.

“Until there’s a change in attitude that animals are valuable, we won’t see a change,” said Scott.

Winnipeg Humane Society officials said investigators look into more than 2,000 complaints about animal cruelty every year.

- with a report from Caroline Barghout