A man pleaded no contest Wednesday to a felony animal cruelty charge stemming from the discovery of a kitten with two broken legs in a trash bin at a Lawndale apartment building in October 2020.
The charge against Darion K. Hackett, now 30, of Lawndale, will be reduced to a misdemeanor in August 2023 if he completes an approved 52-week animal cruelty counseling program, participates in a mental health/substance abuse counseling program and obeys all laws, according to Ricardo Santiago with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Hackett would otherwise be sentenced on the felony count, according to Santiago.
As a result of his conviction, Hackett will be ordered not to possess any animals, be subject to search or seizure by law enforcement and humane officers and pay the costs for impounding the kitten, Santiago said.
Investigators linked Hackett to the female Calico kitten named Bow — then 11 months old — through the feline’s microchip and questioned him about the circumstances surrounding the cat’s current and previous injuries after she was rescued in October 2020, according to a statement released by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles shortly after the case was filed against him last March.
Subsequent medical examinations showed the kitten had suffered severe injuries, including a previous, poorly healed fracture to her right hind leg and a recent fracture to her left hind leg, along with dislocation of her right hip, bruising of her lung, broken teeth and tears and abrasions to her ears, according to the spcaLA.
The kitten was subsequently adopted in February 2021 after undergoing surgeries to repair the injuries to her hind legs and spending five months recovering in foster care, officials said.