David Keith-Manning Goucher, 22, was arrested on Tuesday in Denton, Texas on a felony charge of cruelty to a non-livestock animal.
On the morning of December 15, Goucher, an animal services officer at the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center, was in the cat area of the city-run shelter attempting to change the collar on a kitten, a female co-worker told police.
The kitten died shortly after from injuries sustained in the incident, according to police.
Goucher failed to report that he'd been bitten, as the shelter's policy requires, instead logging the kitten as 'sick, died in shelter,' police said.
When police arrived the next morning to investigate the tip they'd received from the witness at the shelter, they were told that Goucher had given notice and quit his job there.
Residents of Denton reacted with outrage at news of the former city employee's arrest.
'If he would do that to a small defenseless animal, what could he do to humans?' Kelly Lewis Patrick wrote on the Denton Police Department's Facebook page. 'I just wish he could stay [in jail] longer than the law allows currently!'
Animal cruelty resulting in the death or serious injury of an animal is a state jail felony in Texas, which typically carries a prison sentence of six months to two years.
The Linda McNatt shelter took in over 4,700 animals in 2014. Although it is not a no-kill shelter, it claimed a 'live exit rate' of 80 percent in 2011.
'Employees at the Linda McNatt Animal Adoption Center are dedicated to the safety, care, and wellbeing of all animals,' the city said in a Tuesday statement. 'They were grieved by this act and happy that justice is being done.'
(Daily Mail - Jan 11, 2017)