Good Samaritans Save Kitten from Abuser

posted on Monday, September 28, 2020 in News

UPDATE (9/28/2020)

Jason Fortney has pleaded guilty to 1 count of animal abuse (an aggravated misdemeanor) and 1 count of malicious prosecution (a serious misdemeanor) for the crimes outlined below. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail with a credit for 14 days served, as well as fines totaling $1,285 plus damages.

Willow received care at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and was adopted to a new family once she had recovered from her injuries.

This is one of the first cases that occurred in Central Iowa after Governor Reynolds signed a bill into law to strengthen Iowa’s animal welfare laws, including increasing penalties for cases such as this.

ORIGINAL POST (7/27/2020)

On Saturday, several Good Samaritans witnessed, filmed, and quickly intervened to stop animal abuse actively occurring on Des Moines’ south side. A 12-week-old kitten was the victim of the abuse and was saved when two men confronted the suspect and physically removed the kitten from him. Two females were able to safely secure the kitten and bring her to ARL Animal Services.

The kitten, who we have named Willow, is currently under veterinary supervision at the ARL and is doing well. She had reddening of the eyes due to trauma, but otherwise does not appear to have any other visual injuries.

Today Jason Thomas Fortney, 49, of Des Moines, was arrested and has been charged with a state charge of animal abuse, a serious misdemeanor, in addition to other charges. He is currently in the Polk County Jail.

The ARL would like to thank Des Moines Police and ARL Animal Services Officers for their roles in investigating this case and a heartfelt thank you to the Good Samaritans who documented the abuse and then quickly intervened to save this kitten’s life. Had it not been for them, this story could have ended very differently.

But the good news doesn’t end there, one of Willow’s rescuers as well as a DMPD officer have both expressed interest in adopting Willow once she is ready!