Man Charged With Torturing Girlfriend's Cat

Oct 24, 2013

  Las Cruces Police have arrested a Dona Ana County man suspected of dunking his girlfriend’s cat in scalding hot water and strangling the feline to near death.

Matthew J. Montes, 25, of the 4200 block of Apache Trail, is charged with one count of extreme cruelty to animals, a fourth-degree felony.

The 6-month-old calico Montes is accused of injuring was taken to an emergency veterinarian where she is being treated for her injuries. The cat, named Lulu, may require skin grafts to repair damage caused by being placed in the scalding hot water.

Las Cruces Police detectives learned that on Oct. 10, Montes’ 22-year-old girlfriend found her kitten unable to walk and leaning against a wall in its litter box. The woman left home and took the cat to her mother’s house. The woman told detectives that Montes admitted to strangling the cat until it lost consciousness.

A few days later, the woman noticed Lulu’s hair falling out in clumps. She again confronted Montes who alluded to immersing the cat in scalding hot water.

The woman took Lulu to an emergency veterinarian who determined that the cat’s burns were consistent with her being immersed in hot water. Lulu’s hind legs were bloody, and her fur and skin was falling off her legs.

Montes was arrested Wednesday, Oct. 23, on a warrant and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with a cash-only bond set at $50,000.