BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A cat burned alive is recovering after animal rescuers say it was doused in fuel and then set on fire.

Derek Valcourt has more on the disturbing story.

It’s the kind of story that makes you cringe. It’s the city’s first animal cruelty case of the year.

Mittens the cat has a lot to meow about. She’s alive after a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a juvenile.

“She was intentionally set on fire, doused with lighter fluid, thrown in a milk crate and then a match was thrown on her,” said Mary Helfrich of Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.

There’s massive third- and fourth-degree burns on her back and side and severe trauma to her ears, but despite it all, vets expect Mittens will recover.

“She’s a little worse for the wear. Her ears will probably fall off, and she will heal. If you note, she is growing some hair back, but her medication is taking care of her. It’s long term,” Helfrich said.

Two 17-year-olds have been arrested and charged as juveniles for the attack on Mittens. Animal shelter rescuers say it happened back on Jan. 8 in the 3300-block of Saint Ambrose Avenue in West Baltimore.

“From the report it looks as though she ran out of the milk crate, down the alley, extinguished herself, and then she came back to find her kittens,” Helfrich said.

Yes, Mittens is a mama. Her three kittens were born before her serious burns. And despite her injuries, vets say she’s still taking excellent care of her family.

It’s a happier ending than the story of Phoenix–the puppy that was set on fire in West Baltimore in 2009 and died shortly after. The criminal animal abuse trial for accused brothers Travers and Tremaine Johnson resumes at the city courthouse on Monday.

Recovery for Mittens is expected to take a couple of months.

To donate to BARCS, click here.

Comments (168)
  1. Missie Wakefield says:

    May the person(s) who did this to little Mitten face our maker sooner than later. What was this person(s) thinking? People who get a kick out of hurting other humans and defensless animals are sick beyond belief. Lock them up the rapist and murderers. See how long they last!

    1. gloria sw says:

      This is the beginning trait of a serial killer. Keep a watchful eye on this person!!!

    2. K Storm says:

      The article states a juvenile did this. I am not making excuses this is a horrible act of animal abuse. I wonder what was done in the past to this young person to make him/her act out like this. Please community pray for Mittens but also pray for this young person. I will pray that someone can help this individual.

      1. Bullfrog says:

        Storm, More than likely there wasn’t anything done to this THUG for him to torture this helpless cat. What was Michael Vick’s excuse (he was bored) his form of entertainment was torturing dogs. He is sick too. Thank GOD someone cared enough to call for help for this poor cat. These children nowadays have no structure in their homelife, once they start school (six years old or not) the parents do their own thing and pop out another one without care or concern for the first one.

      2. Texacat says:

        I would like to help them by pouring gasoline on them and throwing a match on their ass. How about that?

      3. sue says:

        That juvenile is 17 and should go to court as an adult

      4. blahblahblah says:

        17 is not a juvinelle, it just depends on your crime. If they had done this to a person they would be tried as adults

      5. Shelby S. says:

        i like you your a nice person.Your non-violent..also all this cruel stuff goin on with these animals..people takin there anger out of animals but not the human bein that made them anger so they turn it all on the animal the “innocent one”and if that was an slow,mentally challenged person k storm we both will pray for him/her or maybe him/her did it to see it suffer.i wonder what is this world goin to be 10 years later.

    3. ken says:

      The legal system in this city will do nothing. This kid is a” VOTE” in the future. Then he/she will breed more like him/her. They he/she will murder and become a “guest” of the State for the rest of it’s life at our expense. This kid is prime example of our liberal state. this type of thing has been going on unchecked for at least the past 4 decades! When will the people of this State wake up and see what they have created and start fixing Society at the beginning. This person didn’t just fall out of space we allowed his/her creation. The system is broke and until it get fixed these type of act will continue, unchecked.

    4. Ginger says:

      Blame Blame Blame, for God’s sake why don’t you people accept responsibility for your actions and stop blaming everyone under the sun. If you had real men in the neighborhood, they would put these punks in their place. Start acting as role models and real fathers with a real family unit. Get some morals, go to church, shut your mouth long enough to listen what an education has to offer. Stop believing everything in life is a joke. Your desire to father another illegitimate child that ends up just being another notch on your belt is pitiful.Children are the future. Children need strong guidance not drug addicted absent parents.What the hell did setting a poor defenseless cat on fire prove? Make them pay the cost to rehabilitate the cat and make them do mandated community service work with animals. Animals can teach a human the meaning of devotion and selfless love. Hold the parent legally responsible and make them pay instead of letting them walk away with no consequences.
      This has made me absolutely sick since I heard about it. I never thought in my life time in this country and city I would see the cruelty against man and animal kind that is being perpetrated by people that display behavior that isn’t seen in most third world countries!

      1. Mittens says:

        Couldnt of said it better! So very True!

  2. capthg says:

    you should let everybody WHO this person is and where he lives

    1. Debbie S says:

      I agree, I know I would want to know if they were near my animals OR my kids!

    2. masscas says:

      I must respond to Rose White, Maaximus and all of the other bleeding heart liberals. Your pseudo intellectualism is nauseating.

      This juveniles’s behavior is wrong. It is legally wrong and legally punishable. Animal abuse is defined by law. You don’t know if this person is poor, from a single family home, etc. Children from well to do, two parfent , loving families can be vicious and cruel to animals and younger siblings. You wring your hands and make excuses for the “poor little misunderstood” perpetrator. Yet you are afraid to step up to the plate and deal with animal abuse.

      Timothy McVey’s mother said he was “a good boy”. I’m sure that the people who died in Oklahoma City felt that way just before they died in the explosion. they died.

      Wife abuse happens because the abuser is usually bigger and can get away with it. An animal has no voice and must be defended by people. Battered women, have a voice, but often are afraid or embarissed and cover it up and don’t tell anyone..

    3. mcr0145 says:

      I say life without parole for this kid, or set him on fire in the middle of the town square. Where are the parents in this situation??

      1. Joyce says:

        I agree totally with mcr0145. Where are the parents? (Kids raising kids)

  3. Samski says:

    Another serial killer in the making. This person MUST and NEEDS to be identified to the ommunity as this person is definitely a threat to the health and welfare of the community. There is NO therapy to prevent further episodes like this nor to prevent the continuous development into serial killing. Poor parenting, abusive home, and poverty do not given birth to a serial killer. These type of people are born, not made.

    1. BBS says:

      i agree ! This is horrible !

    2. i says:

      I think this persons action are an serious indication of far worst to follow.

  4. Mike says:

    It just goes to show that people are no better than animals. The person that did this has mental issues and needs professional help right away. I hope Mittens recovers soon, she is a strong cat!

    1. Alex says:

      Animals are far superior to humans. all they want to do is love and be loved.

      1. susan says:

        I agree. People who do this to animals should have the same thing done to them and see how it feels. If they do this to animals heaven forbid what they would do to people. I hope Mittens recovers and she finds herself a terrific and furrever home and so do her kittens. I’m praying for her.

      2. uche says:

        stupid a&& comment Alex. That’s not what animals want to do. But, I’ll not get into the details of animal behavior.

        However, I will say that the perpetrators of this act must be identified and either incarcerated or cured.

  5. Jan says:

    I agree… a serial killer in the making and I doubt that professional help will make a difference. Where are the adults in this ” juveniles’ life? I think the appropriate response is to give him a dose of what was done to the cat.

  6. barnyard says:

    The adults are probably raising pit bulls for fighting.

  7. techie22311 says:

    when your dog goes mad you put em down. This kid needs to be put down. Next will be people if he’s allowed to remain free amongst us

    1. scott says:

      Let’s not waste our time and money prosecuting this punk. He’ll end up behind bars with his buddies soon enough. Let’s make sure he’s missing a few body parts when he arrives. Male rape (and hopefully an in cell bonfire) are waiting you little punk.

  8. Anthony Seda says:

    As a owner of three cats this angers me! This person needs to be dealt with to the fullest degree of the law. What’s wrong with people in Baltimore City? There should be no mercy for this person who would purposely injured a defenseless creatures. How many more dogs, cats need to be put on fire? City Hall wake up and enforce the laws on the books, or write laws that will protect animals.

    1. Alex says:

      What could be written on a piece of paper that would have stopped this? These people have zero respect for humans and animals alike. and even less for the rule of law. I’m not even sure the threat of sever punishment would discourage such acts.

      1. igbompi says:


        you are correct in your observation that: “These people have zero respect for humans and animals alike. and even less for the rule of law….”

        However, I detect in your “voice” a lack of love for humans, You should know “GadDamm ” well that every child has to be conditioned to become a decent, respectable citizen. Your anger should be directed at the parents, not the children who know no difference. Don’t be deluded by the farce that children already know right from wrong when the are born, That’s so much BS, you should be ashamed that you even falled for that BS.

    2. ihateanimalabusers says:

      This is why I’m SO disgusted with Baltimore city I just can’t wait to leave (and they wonder why people are moving out of the city!). DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS PROBLEM!!! An example is that dog Phoenix that got doused & lit on fire by those stupid twins and all they may get is just three years in prison?!! I CANNOT STAND LOWLIFE PEOPLE WHO COMMIT INHUMANE ACTS LIKE THIS & GET AWAY WITH IT which is just a reflection of more serious crimes to come instilling fear and disgust of those people who live here.

  9. Knoth says:

    Those people show, that they are not worth called human.

    They are quite worthless, stupid and sick.

  10. jan says:

    We don’t need people like this in our society..Put them in the electric chair and get rid of them llike they were trying to do to this poor kitty.

  11. GK says:

    This is an outrage. The electric chair? Really?? Then my taxes go up to pay the bill. A bullet is cheaper. I’ll kick in a box. In any case the future murder deserves the same outcome he was trying to give this defenseless cat.

  12. Mike says:

    When she recovers her owners should consider getting her spayed. Charges should fit the crime and must be enforced by the court system. Hope this is not just a slap on the hand for the offender the laws are in the books and must be applied.

  13. bks says:

    Kill this kid. Sterilze this kid’s parents so they can not produce another sub-human.

    1. Cheryl says:

      I agree – set the kids on fire and then kill the parents for letting their kids do something like that! Don’t waste my well earned tax money – just put gasoline on the kids and through match on them. A tit for tat! Sounds reasonable to me.

      1. ANIMAL CRUELTY says:

        are you serious..a human’s life for a dogs!! you people are more mentally ill then the KIDS who did this!!…WOW

      2. Elaine says:

        Yes I agree!! find the people who are guilty of this unbelievable crime.. reverse their actions – slowly pour lighter fluid all over them lock them in a iron cage for a few minutes, let them wonder what will happen next….then throw a match on them, not once but twice!!!!!

  14. Markis Maximus Johnson says:

    To all you folks that are against funding for baltimore city youth services this is what happens when people dont get the mental health treatment they need….. this is not criminal behavior this kid did not make any money off of this……….. this is a mentally estranged young person who needs help…… but the only thing you folks know is punishment and punishment well punishment aint the answer……… what most of you dont understand is that the living conditions at home for many of these children are worse than being in prison….. THATS WHY THEY DONT CARE ABOUT GOING TO PRISON …….. GENIUS!!!!!!!

    1. ridthem says:

      punishment is the answer. stop blaming everyone else for your terrible parenting. why shouold there be funding for youth services bull when the city cant even fund your fire and police departments. this isn’t what happens when people dont have b.s. treatment. this is what happens when a kids parents are absent. stop making excuses. it is not everyone else job to do yours. if someoine commits a crime punishment is the answer. lets have harsher penalties, then they will care.

    2. Nancy says:

      Spoken like a true LIBERAL. Put some diapers on the kid and bottle feed while you’re at it.

    3. marksminimus says:

      Okay, and mentally estranged young people grow up to be mentally estranged adults.. Either way he will do this again.. Why isn’t punishment the answer ? Maybe you would be a little less tolerable is some low life punk did something to your family or pets or even you. Get a life. The kid and the parents need to take responsibility for this.. Of course in our world today that is a gentle slap on the wrist. Again, it sounds like almost everyone is in agreement that this kid should get a ‘real” punishment and not one instituted by the joke of a judicial system we have. What a joke your comments are Markis.. Again, not making anybody take responsibility for anything they do.. This is why our society functions like it does. Get a life

    4. Steve says:

      F you… I grew up POOR. No youth programs. Just parents that taught me to have values.

      1. Danielle C. says:

        Well said!

      2. KottaMan says:

        Yeah, me too. Values have nothing to do with where someone lives, economic status, or the like.

      3. texacat says:

        Kudios to you! Could not have said it better myself. I grew up poor and only had a Mother who taught me values and rules. The place where I grew up or how I grew up did not make me want to set animals on fire for fun. Torch the kid!!! See how he likes it.

      4. porky says:

        Amen to that Steve. Many parents take on the attitude of ‘let someone else raise my kid’. .What a shame.. I wish we could go back to the days when little Johnny was slightly scared of getting a good ole fashion whipping from dad when he got home. I got cracked a few times and it was never child abuse.. but I learned my lesson and I never did it again. We need to bring back good ole fashion parenting.. but you are right. This has NOTHING to do with youth programs.. typical answer from .. never mind.. that is another issue

    5. GCF says:

      Typical liberal answer,it must be someone elses fault. The hell with prison,how about just putting a bullet in this animals head!

    6. C.A.M. says:

      I’m not really concerned with why it happened, the fact is it did and its disgusting. If we continue to make excuses for everyone who does something wrong we’ll be living in anarchy.

    7. Cheryl says:

      Then kill the kids and their parents. They’ll only be more trouble down the road.

    8. Shelly says:

      Markus Maximus Boobson: “Mentally estranged?” Do you honestly think this is a mental health issue? Is being raised with no moral values a “mental health” issue? If a person has no regard for life – whether he’s burning a cat or bustin’ a cap in sum disrespectful muvva fukkah’s heed…. is THAT a “mental health” issue? Are you foolish enough to believe this isn’t a “crime” because he made no money off of this? So his home living conditions aren’t great – and he should get a pass. There are plenty of fine people in Baltimore City and other tough urban environments that don’t burn animals – you GENIUS.

    9. Pierre Gibbons says:

      Well then take care of your own Im f in tired of it. My tax dollars go way to much to this city. If my kids need mental health I have to take them to a doctor because i provide insurance for them so you and others dont have to take care of the children i produce. Get a grip and take care of your own. If they are not yours then you pay for thier mental health. Sick and tired of it! These arent children they are 17 year olds. I was in the Navy at 17. I dont want to even hear it. Grow the f up and be an adult or be charged as an adult. Burning inocent animals. F ing disgusting.

  15. Paul says:

    Blame the Libs. A little capital punishment goes a long way.

    1. KAREN says:


      1. GCF says:

        Are you too stupid to know the difference between hunting,and lighting a cat on fire! Go hug a tree!

      2. whatnow says:

        Karen – guessed you missed the liberal running in WV who said he would take a gun to Obama’s policies and then he shot a rifle. Politics have no place in this discussion. I hate hunting and could never do it but I do understand the herds enlarge and have to be culled. I don’t understand cats being set on fire then idiots bringining politics into it.

  16. Steve says:

    Just hang this low life in front of his house……
    That would send a message…

  17. lester says:

    this kid needs to have done to him/her what he did to that cat.. how horrible.. Of course his mama will say he’s a good boy and never done nuthin like that befo

  18. what says:

    I bet and eye for an eye would benefit the “mentally estranged young person who needs help”…Thats all the help he needs that will fix it immediatly, I bet ya.
    He dont feel compassion no HELP can make a person feel compassion, you either got it or you dont.

  19. Tracey says:

    Yes, the 1st reponse is anger. Anger towards an cruelty of an innocent animal. Then comes confusion as to how somebody….anybody could harm an animal. Last comes fear, fear of where is this monster and could my animals, kids or loved ones come in contact with this person.
    My question is where was this kids parent(s)? I’m sure this wasn’t the 1st sign of injust abuse or even criminal activity! Most importantly where will the law take this juevinille? Slap on the wrist and get out of my face because the court system is too busy too see this is the beginning of more evil doings? Or to put it more bluntly let this person go free who has NO REMORSE for life! The parents/guardians should face the court system as well! I’m tired of hearing ” I work and/or have other children to watch and didn’t see this coming!!! Wouldn’t that be considered NEGLECT if you don’t parent your child(ren) to respect life????? This entire family parent(s) included need to do mandatory community service with battered and abused animals (supervised ofcourse) as well as therapy for a minimal of five years! Too bad if it inconveniences you or your schedule! I bet with the loss of free time and possibly the loss of income would make you think twice about what the word PARENTING means!!!!!

    1. Shelly says:

      To quote the great Chris Rock: “If a kid calls his grandma ‘momma’ and his momma ‘Pam,’ HE’S GOING TO JAIL!!!!

  20. RNinbaltimore says:

    Just like that dog Pheonix that got doused and set on fire by those stupid twins, the person who did this should be held accountable for their actions and get three years in prison (like those twins are going to get if convicted) or more. But you know their mama is going to say, “well my child would NEVER do a thing like that!” Welcome to stupid Baltimore where people get off on crimes like this just to repeat the offense.

  21. suzie says:

    Someone should pour lighter fluid on the people that did this and light a match!!!

    1. laura says:

      They should charge admission and give the proceeds to BARCS

      1. KottaMan says:

        I volunteer……

    2. love of cats says:

      You’re not paying attention… the people who performed this cruelty act are NOT humans therefore they should not be given the liberty to be treated as one!!!
      Warning… they should always wonder if I am behind them…because I will do harm to them, they should not get off on this crime by a simple slap on the hand…..

  22. Megan says:

    I could not have said it better myself. It certainly would be the most cost effective punishment. I do wish death on the person who did this and I do not feel the least bit bad about stating my opinion. The people at BARCS are wonderful. I know that Mittens and her kittens will be loved and cared for in the best possible environment. What about all the others (humans and animals) that don’t get a second chance at life? This city/state/country does nothing to protect its citizens. The bad guys always get off due to a technicality and it is only a matter of time before they reoffend.

  23. Nancy says:

    Someone who does this will most likely terrorize other humans and maybe be a genocide perpetrator. The best way to solve this is by creating an intense educational system that also teaches MORALS!!!!!

  24. Rose White says:

    People in Baltimore care way too much about pets and not people!

    1. william says:

      Do you want to take a bet on how long it will take him before he starts hurting people Rosey? This is just the start of it.. Are you gonna be there and say what a good boy he was??? probably

    2. laura says:

      Really Rose? Who is the animal in this story? One of them is taking care of her young despite being burned alive the other one will just continue to be a bigger and bigger menace to society!!!!! What a shame they dont euthanize and sterilize people! The world would be a better place if someone had neutered that baby’s daddy!

    3. thE NOCturnal says:

      We can only hope that when this person becomes a full blown serial killer that they start with Rose White. Then perhaps she will understand why there is so much concern about a supposed human being doing something like this….at least for that final moment.

    4. Shelly says:

      Rose, that was the same sentiment coming out of Atlanta after those boys put that puppy in a hot oven and burned it to death…. Even Whoopi Goldberg went on record as saying what Michael Vick did wasn’t that heinous – that it’s been part of southern “culture” for decades. As for your comment about people caring more for pets than people – there is some truth in that. Most people have the ability to know right from wrong and to fend for themselves. Domestic animals, like little human babies, are 100% dependent on people to survive. To that end, taking advantage of any person or animal that is dependent upon someone is more egregious than what happens to people who should know better in the first place! Yes, I feel sorrier for this cat than the boy that committed the crime. He’s got a brain and presumably a heart and a conscience.

    5. love of cats says:

      who are you? you don’t know what you’re talking about…do you have or ever had a pet? pets are unconditional – sounds like you need a pet….

  25. Amy Grace Good says:

    Any one who would harm any living thing by setting it on fire is not even worth the 2 cent bullet to put them out of their misery. We as a nation are afraid of putting people to death and there is no detorant for this type of behavior. It starts with animals, then evolves into harm towards fellow man. Morals and Values are not taught by Parents and children are set loose to learn on their own, Where were the parents when this kid was messing with fire paraphanalia. If this kid was that sick, what stopped him from just setting the cat on fire instead of burning down the house with his parents in it? This kid and his parents evidentally are garbage, trash….

  26. chris says:

    milk crates when i work for an ambulance co the kids in the thug areas all had milk crates so it would susprise me if they wasent black

  27. chris says:

    yea your right there momma is gonna say my child is a good child they never done anything wrong fin bs



  29. masscas says:

    It’s a shame that we don’t still support public flogging. 10 or 15 lashes should go a long way toward convincing him not to do this again. The mom cat is still caring for her kittens, even though injured. She is one strong furball.
    And I suppose the abuser will get tried in juvenile court ? Studies have shown that animal abuse leads to people abuse and torture that leads to murder. This kid needs some serious jail time to reflect on his crimes and get some mental health care as well while he is there.

  30. laura says:

    Just think were probably working everyday to help pay for this little thug to have health care and food. Why?

    1. Rose White says:

      Laura, Are you crazy as well? It’s would be an atrocity if our government started up (again) sterilizing people! Look at all of the atrocities the government has done throughout history. And btw, every child needs healthcare and food and we do work everday to povide it for needy children- it’s not thier fault they are poorer. And even if this kid goes to jail, it would be for a maximum of only three years. It costs 40,000 or more each year for prison…you’d be working harder to pay for that than measley food stamps and medical assistance which does not reimburse doctors any where near the cost of care. What are you a cat lover? Good night….

      1. Steve says:

        Life lover ROSE. One of Gods creatures. Whites , shouldn’t be held at a higher value then blacks, hispanics , dogs, horses or cats. All are Gods creations.

      2. laura says:

        Rose I would much rather pay extra and see them in jail ratehr than have them in the cold crab line on my bill. Your a nut job go save the world or something. Let me know how it works out for you when you walk into a dark alley and run into 3 or 4 of these little thugs! Good luck with that! Yes I am a cat lover and a person that knows right from wrong and thats sick and tired of entitlement and paying the way for lazy people! Baltimore City is a joke on so many levels it’s sickening..
        Goodnight to you!!!

  31. Rayna says:

    why is it that he’s black? what do you mofos have to say about the young white boy that shot that woman in the head?? Oh I guess because he shot 20 sum people and KILLED a 9 y/o thats just fine…..Its not parenting all the time you can send your child to the best schools, move away from the city away from crime and they still do the unthinkable what now? its sad this child does need help but all the negativity like hanging him or her isnt making a difference…this poor kid needs help… its a shame animals have more value than human life…..some of you need to be hung for giving up on our future

    1. Denise Sipes says:

      he is black and so are you when the little ape tourtures you or one of your many offspring lets see what you do

      1. Rayna says:

        Well Well Denise a little racist huh? ape? as I stated most you people need to be hung for valuing a animals life more than human I guess that was your pal who killed the 9y/o what you have to say about that? was he a animal?No i dont agree and yes he should be punished but if theres nothing for our children to do what do you really expect them to do?? and furthur more half of you people would never go on st ambrose because your too afraid and I hope half the people are reading this blog…..

      2. Diane King says:

        First of all Rayna, I’m sure the comment section on the white guy who shot the 9 y/o girl (and others) is full of condemnations for him just as this one is for this 17 y/o black kid. But this is NOT the comment section for the Arizona shooting. Secondly, your statement that “if there’s nothing for our children to do what do you really expect them to do?” totally enrages me. That statement sums up what is wrong with so many Baltimore parents. Take responsibility for your own family. It is the parents job to engage their children in activities and provide them with whatever they need. Besides that, no matter how bored a kid is, there is something seriously sick and wrong with a child that finds fun in torturing an animal. Period!

      3. Diane King says:

        Correction – TWO 17 y/o black kids.

      4. Rayna says:

        Diane…its nothing wrong with Baltimore Parents who has Sense enough to raise their own children….half the children here were born from crackheads or given to foster homes which means they never had guidance….and just to take it back a notch I have a family member who gave her daughter the best of everything and she was just awarded to the state because she’s 16 and out of control so plenty of times its not PARENTING at all…at the end of the day once a child gets to a certain age they have their own brain…a parent DONT and CANT think or take action for their children because we are not with them 24/7…and yes as a parent you are suppose to engage your kids but whats next when their closing things down? I am a parent myself and I teach my son values and morals about life, he kicked his dog down the steps so I guess Im a bad parent too? please….He’s still a honor student and gives me no trouble at all and I dont look at him no different as I stated some of you need to be HUNG for giving up on our future….

  32. betty dehaven says:

    poor little thing.the same way they did to that pit bull. and look what happened to the dog .it had to be put asleep. because these peoples are acting stupid.God knows who you are? Betty

  33. Steve says:

    Our youth are growing with the security that we won’t hold them responsible for their actions. They are used in all sorts of criminal activity because of that. Take that away. Punishment dealt that is deserved!!

  34. Deborah says:

    How desperate is WJZ for stories? Why would you put such horrid pictures on tv? This would not have been allowed years must need to have the wiorst news, and you know that this will give ideas to some of our sick and maladjusted young and not so young…so that there will be copy-cats. Shame on you! You could have told the story briefly and not have given the “how to” recipe for how to abuse an animal.

    1. Anna says:

      i think your very wrong.

    2. love of cats says:

      I disagree too! public should know what is happening in their neighborhood.

  35. Danielle c. says:

    Totally agree with Ken and Bullfrog!!! Well said!

  36. KAREN says:


  37. Jeanne Clarke says:

    This is one of the most horrific things I have ever read. I am a “bleeding heart liberal” who agrees the person who did this should get a taste of his or her own medicine. Perhaps an ear for an ear? This poor young momma cat will probably lose one due to the burning. I am donating to the Franky Fund even though I feel the family should be held financially accountable for every penny spent toward Mittens’ care the rest of her life. And it needs to be a good life; one financed entirely by this family. In a loving home. It’s not impossible to turn things around. Although I deplore what Mike Vicks did, he has proven himself time and again that he has learned his lesson – but in his case, he had some incentive – his family, his kids, his career – because he is in the public eye he will be made aware of his past crimes the rest of his life. It will always be there. While I believe in mercy and redemption for one who is truly sorry and tries to turn their life around and help those they once hurt, it takes a very very strong person to be able to do this. Most “juveniles” today don’t have that sort of inner strength or desire.

  38. Joseph Kirsch says:

    I think the same should be done to whoever did this,Put him in a cage and light him on fire. I will light the match if needed…..

    1. nichole says:

      I’ll provide you with the matches.

  39. says:

    No excuse!! 0 tolerance for animal cruelty!! These people need to be committed for life or if I had my way, I say an eye for an eye!! It would only be fair. They need a strong dose of their own sick and demented medicine! They do not deserve to live!

  40. EB says:

    WJZ, you need to keep updating the community on this story. The name of this person, juvenile or not, should be released so we as the public are aware of the monsters around us. And god forbid this kid doesn’t get punished…this city needs a HUGE wake up call…this is not normal childhood behavior.

    Please, click here to donate food to shelters with just a simple click (FREE!) and after, vote for BARCS! how great would it be for our city’s shelter that does so much to help animals like Mittens to win the $300,000 shelter challenge contest!!?

  41. moleman says:

    These kids have serious mental disorders. Wouldn’t surprise me if they have been or are being abused by family members direct or extended family. Left unchecked, they most surely will gravitate to bigger crimes including murder. They have no conflict resolution skills. What a shame.

  42. katy says:

    This story breaks my heart. This cat is probably a better mother to her kittens than the mother of the kid who did this. What kind of a mother must this monster have?

  43. Not again says:

    Amazing. It is very sad to see animals tortured. Where is all the hoopla when a human is murdered in the city. Just a blip on the news it is so common. 5 minutes to the tortured cat. Have we all lost our collective minds? Since when is the life of a human considered less news worthy than a cat? Why not outlaw all pets in the city. That would certainly stop abuse.

    1. Elaine says:

      you need to watch your self….there are hundreds of people murdered yearly and they get more than enough news coverage…cats, dogs, animals being abused don’t get enough news coverage!! if humans know of another human performing any cruelty act, it is their responsibility to SPEAK up! everyone is in fear of saying anything – because those criminals could hurt them too…SPEAK OUT PEOPLE..don’t let them win….how can you sit back and let them do this?

  44. Terry says:

    I would be happy to give this lovely animal a good home- or 1 of her kittens a loving home. I have 1 cat that is totally spoiled and enough love and care to spoil another

  45. ANIMAL CRUELTY says:

    isn’t it more cruel to keep this animal and Phoenix alive..inject them and put them out of there misery. I mean the damage has already been done..3rd degree burns very painful..unneccessary pain for the animal..

  46. Wow says:

    It is amazing to me that there are people in this world who are capable of this kind of cruelty. This person did a horrible thing, and they deserve to be brought to justice.

    It’s also amazing how many people there are making horrible comments. Do you have any idea how hypocritical it is to say “How dare this guy burn a cat! Let’s burn him in the town square”, or “this guy deserves to DIE!”? Please tell me you are not really capable of burning or killing a person, criminal or not. Could you strike the match that burns this child, or be the man/woman who injects the poison? Not that I don’t think what he/she did was terrible and worthy of punishment, but I would not be quite so extreme.

    Also, I fail to see what this has to do with liberal vs. conservative. Are you saying that liberals burn animals? That’s also a bit extreme, and if you truly believe that I would suggest you seek some education for yourself. Perhaps you are only saying liberals only SUPPORT the burning of animals, or don’t care that it happens? Well, let me assure you that is incorrect. Being liberal does not mean you lack any sense of moral convictions and values. I really don’t understand why this was even brought up over an article about someone burning a cat alive.

    The only person to blame is the child who did it, and perhaps their parents for neglect. There are things we can do about it on a personal level (volunteer at an animal rescue or a shelter) as well as a political level (write to our senators or run for office). But in reality, all that can be done is allow our elected leaders and law enforcement to do their jobs and bring this person, and all others who commit crimes, to justice.

    Now, if we are all kind enough people to care about the welfare of poor Mittens, lets all give each other the same kindness and consideration, hm?

  47. T says:

    No where in this story does it say that a juvenile committed it, so lets pay attention to what’s written before we post things about bad parenting and such. Adults abuse animals as well.

    I hope Mittens and her babies find a loving home, and that the parties responsible are prosecuted. And IF it was a child/group of children I certainly hope they get the help they need.

    1. Shelly says:

      This is a follow-up story. The original story indicated a juvenile committed the crime. In the hard urban jungle I think “juvenile” status runs it’s course by about 4 years of age anyway….

    2. KATHLEEN says:


  48. Smokey1 says:

    this person should have the same thing done to them and NO one to ever help them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. deep thinker says:

    T actually it does say about a juvenile. read the beginning of the article dear…

  50. whatnow says:

    Bottom line, it doesn’t have anything to do with liberal/conservation or black/white. It has to do with the fact that this cat has more of a maternal instinct than however was raising this boy.

  51. maxx says:

    Go get them Smokey!!!
    Defendant Information
    Defendant Name: JOHNSON, TRAVERS
    Race:BLACK Sex:MALE
    Address:1721 N CALHOUN ST
    City: BALTIMOREState:MDZip Code:21217

    1. Rayna says:

      Maxx if this info is true your very BOLD…………………………..smh

  52. Chris says:

    I’d say its time to exterminate West Baltimore…our taxpayers would be better off just eliminating these people and the city would be a better place altogether.

  53. smoke says:

    i just don’t understand how anyone could hurt any animal. i think this person needs a lot of help! and i hope mom and kittens find good homes!

  54. Sally says:

    These two kids need to be burned and tortured!!!!!!!!!!!!

  55. JoeG says:

    I am disgusted by this story but I noticed there are more comments for this story about an animal than there would be for a child abuse case.

  56. Billiam says:

    If I’m reading the story correctly, two 17-year olds are charged as juveniles. There’s a problem right there, Baltimore. At 17, these punk thugs knew what they were doing; they just thought it would be fun to harm a cat because they had nothing better to do. Don’t talk to me about what happens if the city doesn’t have enough money to fund programs to keep punks like this off the street – they don’t want our help, just our money to waste. This isn’t the first time and unfortunately this won’t be the last time. The punks who did this are the future in Baltimore City – the next generation – and that’s pretty damned scary. No values, no respect and certainly no common sense, so Rayna when you choose to use the abbreviation “mofos” make sure you know how to use it in the right context. I don’t care what color, race or animal these punk thugs are – they should be brought to justice and not given a slap on the wrist but charged as adults, no matter how old they are. It doesn’t matter if an animal’s life is more valuable than a human’s life in your closed mindedness – what matters is that they are punished to the full extent of the law.

  57. Read much? says:

    Don’t see where it was ONE person, “Two 17-year-olds have been arrested and charged as juveniles for the attack on Mittens.” There was TWO people who did this. Geez.

  58. Roseanne Lantz says:

    I’ve tripped over better things than them crawling out of the gutter . . . laws should be stricter . . . no use for these “thugs” in society. . .

  59. Crystal Haynes says:

    Hi my name is Crystal Haynes I watched the news and seen the story about Mittens and all’s I could do is cry,it broke my heart.I also seen that she had kittens,I have been looking for a kitten for a little while now I just haven’t found the right match yet.I would like to adopt one of Mittens kittens if possible.I have a loving home and a loving family.I would love to have one of her kittens as a new addition to our family.We will give her all the love and care

  60. Jamie says:

    This isn’t about poverty or politics: this is evolution happening before your eyes. The kind of people who have a yen to hurt the innocent and helpless may start with animals then work their way up to people, when they’re older. They don’t always become serial killers: their hurt of others will take whatever form amuses the individual perpetrator. These are psychopaths: they do not possess a conscience. Not even a little one. It would not have mattered if they had been born into the lap of luxery, as many of them are. The kind of people running this world now are psychopaths and their ghoulish values increasingly flavor our society. Take a big whiff and tell me you don’t sense them out there. They are the definition of evil. Evil is presently winning the battle and changing this to a hell planet, one conducive to the survival of their kind and not yours. Inform yourselves better, please, for your own protection.

  61. ANIMAL CRUELTY says:

    its absolutely hilarious how now that Blacks are killing animals its big news..but crazy a$$ white psychotic white children have been doing it for let it go..thats why ritalin was invented because so many lil white psycho paths started running around..lets REHABILITATE them but hang and burn the NIGGAs..get real..whatever..the cruelty is the stupid a$$ vets trying to keep these animals alive instead of injecting them and putting them out of there misery..

    1. Really? says:

      You think it’s cruel for someone to give an innocent victim a fighting chance to live? If you were hit but a drunk driver and put on life support would that be cruel to you? Or would you be glad that someone (I.E. “stupid a$$ doctors”) is giving you a chance to recover instead of just throwing their hands up and letting you die? What about if you had children? This cat has kittens. Do they deserve to lose their mother? There’s nothing funny about this – not even your trying to make a racial issue out of something that has NOTHING to do with color.
      Now quit being ignorant.

      1. ANIMAL CRUELTY says:

        your compare a humans life to one of an animals..the cat and dog should be put out of its misery..the kittens will be fine..they will be shipped to different locations anyway and never see her again…the only ignorance on here is that many of you a$$holes value the lives of these animals more than the life of a human that sounds like a mental problem if ever I heard of one..

    2. ANIMAL says:

      thats right blame the white man dumb ASS

    3. Rayna says:

      I agree…thats why half the medication was invented for the lil psychos……you see no one commented on the psych path that killed the 9y/o…..but cause a troublled lil black boy decide to torch a kitty kill him dead……………………animal lives are a more value than humans

    4. ANIMAL CRUELTY says:

      until any of you people come from my world you wouldn’t see the disparity of the media or the United States period.. I remember as a child seeing numerous stories of a psychopath who killed his family, shot his grandfather, killed the parents, or tortured and killed another kid..and the first thing “oh Johnny used to abuse, torture, and Kill animals” but never did Johnny’s abuse of the animals make the NEWS!! least these children can be rehabbed or helped before they blow up a school.

  62. Doug says:

    I’d do the same to those two punks and render them no medical aid.

  63. jill says:

    Go to and read their story. Apparently the cat has an owner and one of the 17 year old boys charged was her grandson!!!!!

  64. Tanya says:

    what that man did was disgusting and he should be arrested for almost killing that cat but your comment is ignorant, distasteful, and blatantly disresectful to all the people in that community and those like it. being an animal killer has nothing to do with family status or literacy for that matter. its unnecessary to attack and insult a group because of the terrible actions of one.

  65. LH says:

    These two individuals should be charged as adults – nothing will happen to them if charged as juveniles – they are 17!!! Throw the book at them – they do not deserve any kindness from the justice system.

  66. Lateisha V. says:

    Poor little kittens, they are going to lose their Mittens.

    Keep race out of this.

    1. Truthsetsufree says:

      Everything to you is funny huh? It’s your level of intelligence and class that sets you apart from the thousands of other out of work comedians.
      Don’t try to cover up what reality is… it is what it is….

      1. urnotfunny says:

        Obviously Lateisha is as low class as the trash that set that innocent defenseless animal on fire. You’re right she just spoke to what she is………………

  67. Dustin says:

    BARCS always needs donations. I donated, Have you?

    1. urnotfunny says:

      got it covered, made my donation yesterday, all of you motor mouths should shut up and send a donation. Despite all of the comments BARCS needs help and there’s no debate about that!

  68. LOve BirD says:

    i was crying when i looked into mittens eyes i saw she wanted revenge mittens did not deserve what shed gotten.i am a youngter an i have a anger when i get mad im a hurricane you cant drain away until who knows..but if i was angry at my sweet brownie that died 1 year ago..i wouldnt set her on fire ill tell her move after that ill rub her little ears and tell her im mad at you so leave me be..and she’ll come back and lick me on my face that was her of sayin sorry.i miss brownie.but all that settin a innocent cat on fire all that (un-nessesary).they might have wanted to have the fun is settin a innocent beautiful cat on fire..if i knew them i wouldnt talk to them an everytime they come near me..hmm ill think about that one.i am a lovin,carin person an lord bless this nice person who saw this helpless cat god bless them.this is so serious i dont even wanna mention this any more ill cry worsier.

  69. a guy says:

    So of course its going to be a bunch of black kids. Tired of shooting each other so why not attack innocent animals.
    Let me guess they are on welfare..

    Next year when all the welfare ends after the election and the republicans take over, it will be amusing.
    Bright future you ghettos got…very bright

    1. ANIMAL CRUELTY says:

      if welfare ends then more white trash is gonna be on the streets..get your facts straight AZZmunch..the welfare system is pays most of its money to White Americans..Stupid is as Stupid does sir!!

  70. blacky says:

    end welfare…..

  71. Edd Bergman says:

    I want to adopt this cat and her kittens and will give the shelter that is caring for them a large donation.

  72. Annimal Lover says:

    These “so-called” kids sould have gas poured on them and then they sould be set on FIRE! AND THEN KICK THEIR STINKING BUTTS FROM HERE TO THE MOON!!!!!!!!!!! AND I HOPE THESE IDIOT KIDS READ THIS…..YOU PIGS!!!!!!!!!

  73. patty says:

    More awesome role models and influence..its people who write things such as “burns them kids”..who need as much mental help as those who do these cruel things to animals..

  74. Martha says:

    Make a bon – fire out of the “kids”. Let them feel the burning pain. Maybe then they will respect all lfe. I’ll strick the first match. Oh ,please add Lateisha V. to the fire. She’s worthless and her joke proves just how demented she is.

    No I am not mentally ill.

    Yes I’ve made a donation.

  75. masscas says:

    What did you do to discipline your son for kicking the dog down the stairs ? Or did you just ignore it because he is a “good boy” ? Good bou, my a$$.

    1. Rayna says:

      I did the same thing you would have done LOL!!! The damage was already done…some of yall need to face reality like you’ve never done anything as kid I guess 154 of yall were angels growing up BS…they are 17y/o for crying out loud…..and as I stated yes my son is a GREAT BOY…half of you cant say the same about your children they’re probably getting high or drinking and driving….no PARENT can’t be with their children 24/7 no matter what you teach them they still have their own MIND….

      1. Rayna says:

        @sheriff willie…how dare you call my child a monkey??? LOL I think its hilarious….he’s very handsome and far from a monkey to, I’ve been the big nigga in mine for years and I’m going to keep it going….or maybe see if my monkey will kick another animal BIT$$ …you white nigg$

  76. Lissa says: has a petition to have these “boys” charged as adults.Please go sign!The petition is under animals,then search popular petitions and then sign.There is no excuse for this behavior.

  77. N says:

    This whole “Juvenile” thing is irritating. Im 16 and i beleive that if someone my own age is cruel enough to do this then they are definetly “grown” enough to be treated like an adult. Why are 17 year old murderers still being treated like children????
    Anyone capable of doing this to an animal is also capable of crimes against humanity

  78. masscas says:


    Obviously your parenting skills need improvement. And you failed to teach your son right from wrong and humane and gentle treatment of animals at an early age when you could still influence/handle him.. I would not have allowed him to get away with that.
    BTW, I am not an illiterate liberal housefrau.
    Masscas, Bs, MS, MA, CEDM, RN, ANP-C

  79. masscas says:

    I have only 2 words Tire Collar. It should be placed over the head and allowed to rest on the shoulders. Then gasoline may be doused on the lower body and ignited. The tire protects the face for a few minutes to give the individual a few more minutes of life. That gives a moment of pray perhaps. It was on the television show “The Shield”. BTW it was also a form of torture used in Iraq, and the Korean and veitnam wars.

    1. Truthsayer says:

      Our Constitution forbids punishment like the “Tire Collar” but I do hope that both of them go to jail and get “Greenlit” (shanked) which is from another great Shield episode.

  80. texacat says:

    Oh and one fot he boys are being held on an attempted murder charge? Send them both to jail.

  81. michele goldberg says:

    i’d like to see these kids do hard labor to pay for the cat’s vet bills and also work to ensure that all are adopted to good homes.

  82. michele goldberg says:

    additionally, this story is getting huge play on facebook… thousands of people will read about it. i doubt the judge will get away with a soft sentence on these kids. if so, there will be a LOT of noise.

  83. Kristine CrossPoster Huebner says:

    It has nothing to do with race, social status, or how they were raised. My mom was a horrible person who only cared about herself, her booze, and her molesting husband. I had NOTHING growing up. I was not allowed to go anywhere or do anything. I was locked in my room and tortured. TMI, I KNOW, but I NEED to make a point. I am a huge animal welfare activist. They harm that I see inflicted on animals is horrific. It’s usually kids setting them on fire. Adults usually beat and neglect. Tell me, If I grew up severely neglected and abused, why don’t I go out and be a menace? I am extremely compassionate and would never dream of harming anyone or anything who is INNOCENT. That said…SOME animals’ lives are indeed worth more than humans…like the humans who hurt this girl. She is worth more than them. How can people argue with that? It’s sad that they are. People need to quit giving excuses for criminals, no matter what age. They did it because they WANTED to. Because the are HORRIBLE people with no hearts. Their parents not being there or being there (because none of you know how they grew up) did not make these two ADULTS commit this horrible crime. If I can be a normal, productive member of society, then anyone can. Stop with all of the damn excuses. It’s BS!

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