A New Mexico man charged in June for allegedly beating his girlfriend also force-fed his cat methamphetamine and choked the pet, police say.
On June 3, authorities were called to 39-year-old Aaron Spaulding’s residence in Las Cruces, after receiving reports he had assaulted his girlfriend and held her captive, according to a press release posted to Facebook by the Las Cruces Police Department.
However, Spaulding’s charges have now been upgraded after his feline tested positive for meth.
“While investigating the allegations, police learned that Spaulding was possibly neglecting his two pets, a dog and male domestic shorthair cat, and abusing the feline by squeezing it until it cried out,” the release stated. “He was also accused of strangulating and forcibly feeding methamphetamines to the cat.”
Authorities took Spaulding’s pets to the veterinarian following the incident, who told police the man’s cat showed signs of cognitive impairment. They tested the cat’s blood and found traces of meth. The animal has since been treated and placed in an animal foster home.
Spaulding and his girlfriend allegedly began arguing before the confrontation took a physical turn. Officials said that Spaulding “punched her multiple times and took away her cell phone.”
He was charged with two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, one of which has now been upgraded to a felony charge. He has also been charged with two counts of battery, interference with communication, and false imprisonment.
It’s unclear what happened to Spaulding’s dog.
Spaulding was released on bond June 24, according to the Las Cruces Police Department.
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