A South Carolina man faces animal cruelty and abandonment charges after a live kitten was found in a trash compactor at a recycling facility, according to officials.
Officers with Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement responded June 17 to a possible animal cruelty incident at a county recycling center on Cowpens Clifton Road, according to a Monday news release from the county agency.
Several people told officers they “heard kittens inside a trash bag” that a man discarded into the trash compactor, according to the release. The suspect, identified as John Carrol Majors, was still there when officers arrived.
Majors told officers he put “when he thought was a dead mouse that evidently ended up being a live kitten into a trash bag,” the release states. He told officers he also put a dead squirrel and other items into the bag.
Officers used a ladder to climb into the trash compactor and retrieve a black trash bag that contained a black and white kitten. The kitten was still alive but was missing a leg, according to officers. No other animals were found in the bag.
The kitten was taken to a veterinary clinic, where it was determined the kitten was less than 24 hours old, according to the release. However, it had to be euthanized because of its poor overall health.
Majors was charged with ill treatment of animals and abandonment of animals, according to Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement. He was placed in the county jail and released Friday on $1,000 bond for each charge, according to Spartanburg County court records.
Ill treatment of animals carries up to 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine for a misdemeanor conviction, or six months in prison and a $5,000 fine for a felony conviction, under South Carolina law.