A New Mexico man arrested in June has had charges upgraded Tuesday after a cat he was accused of abusing tested positive for methamphetamine.
A representative for the Las Cruces Police Department said a Facebook post that 39-year-old Aaron Spaulding was arrested June 4 for allegedly beating his girlfriend and mistreating two pets.
"Police learned that a verbal argument turned physical, and Spaulding allegedly punched her multiple times and took away her cell phone," according to the post.
"While investigating the allegations, police learned that Spaulding was possibly neglecting his two pets, a dog and male domestic shorthair cat, and abusing the feline by squeezing it until it cried out. He was also accused of strangulating and forcibly feeding methamphetamines to the cat."
Authorities said a veterinarian examined the cat and said it "showed signs of neurological deficits."
The cat tested positive for methamphetamine and was treated. It has since been adopted into a new home.
In his June arrest, Spaulding was charged with false imprisonment, two counts of battery against a household member, interference with communication and two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, according the officials. One of the animal cruelty charges has been upgraded to a felony because of the cat's test results.
Spaulding was released on bond from the arrest June 24.
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