A Utah woman has been accused of violently beating the family’s cat, then snapping its neck in front of her two children.
When police arrived at the scene, Ariane Christine Borg’s two children were “crying hysterically” and reported their mother was “going crazy” during the Sept. 25 incident, according to court documents obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune.
Borg, 38, was charged Jan. 17 with one count of second-degree felony child abuse, two counts of misdemeanor child abuse and torture of a companion animal but her attorney, Steven Burton, claims the arrest is re-victimizing a woman who has suffered from depression for most of her life. He claims she had been making progress with her mental health in the months since the incident after doctors were able to adjust her diagnosis and treatment plan.
“It is disappointing to see that after all we have learned about mental illness, our system still re-victimizes those who are struggling and increases the risk that they will suffer further setbacks,” Burton said in a statement following the arrest, according to The Deseret News.
Borg’s children, ages 17 and 10, reportedly told police that on Sept. 25 their mother “beat their cat over and over again and snapped its neck.”
In an interview after the animal was killed, her 10-year-old daughter described seeing her mother “hold the cat by the legs and pound it repeatedly” on a table. When the daughter tried to intervene, she told police her mother hit her in the arm giving her a large bruise, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
After police arrived at the scene, they found a cat dead in the yard and Borg, covered in blood, after she allegedly cut herself multiple times in the wrists and abdomen.
The daughter later told police her mother “goes crazy” nearly every night.
Burton contends that his client has struggled with depression for most of her life and that her mental health had been spiraling out of control since the summer, when doctors made changes to her medication.
“Because of the changes in medication and a lack of mental health treatment, Ariane suffered a critical manic episode,” he said in his statement. “She believed that she and her family were being attacked and she injured herself and a beloved family pet while suffering from those delusions.”
He said police had been called “multiple times” in the week leading up to the attack to help with her mental health crisis but that “no meaningful help was provided.”
He claims his client was able to get help after the cat’s death during a brief hospital stay and subsequent treatment to correct her diagnosis and treatment and had “returned to being the good, kind person that she was before.”
Police said a therapist has been working with one of the children ever since the incident to try to help the child heal from the abuse and trauma she suffered that night, according to local news station KSTU.
Borg’s bail has been set at $100,000.
[Photo: Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.