41-year-old man accused of torturing kitten

Jose Rodriguez charged for strangling animal to near death

WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A 41-year-old man is charged with torturing a kitten while working at Jordan River Galvanizing. 

Charging documents filed November 2 show a small kitten was strangled to near death by Jose Rodriguez. The Salt Lake City man faces third degree felony for torture of a companion animal. 

"He wrapped his hands around the cat's neck and squeezed the cat to the point where the cat lost consciousness and collapsed," said West Jordan Detective J.C. Holt.

On October 11, Rodriguez held the kitten so tight its eyes were bulging and tongue hung out, according to court papers. Rodriguez is also accused of smacking the unconscious kitten off an I-beam. 

A co-worker at Jordan River Galvanizing said the police have it wrong. The man wanted to remain anonymous, but told ABC4 Utah Rodriguez saved the feral cat from falling into an acid tank when it clawed him. 

He insists he never saw Rodriguez choke the kitten. 

Police said the young cat had blood in its lungs and had to be put down at Jordan River Animal Hospital.

Attempts to reach Rodriguez were unsuccessful. His past does not show any criminal violence prior to the animal torture charges. 

He will be in court on November 20. 

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