Animal welfare officials in Kansas City, Mo., reacted with disgust this week after a video surfaced in which a man is seen on a local high school football field, kicking a small black cat as if it were a football.
They said a search is now underway for both the kicker and the person who shot the video, which they believed was shot in May.
The graphic video shows the kitten sailing through the air, perhaps more than 20 yards, before the video ends prior to the cat landing on the ground.
“It was really difficult to watch,” Tori Fugate, with KC Pet Project, told Kansas City’s Fox 4.
Fugate told the station that the organization takes in about 30 animals per day, many of them having suffered trauma.
“We see a lot of those animals come in after they have already been suffering for a long time or have had something happen to them,” Fugate said. “But to actually see it in action happening to an animal, it was really difficult to watch.”
“We see a lot of those animals come in after they have already been suffering for a long time or have had something happen to them. But to actually see it in action happening to an animal, it was really difficult to watch.”
Kelli Wachel, a spokeswoman for the Center School District, told Fox 4 that the video was shot in the evening, after school hours, when the public has access to the football field.
She said the district notified Kansas City police and Animal Control as soon as it became aware of the video.
John Baccala, an Animal Control spokesman, told Fox 4 that the Snapchat video was dated May 22, and the Center High School principal alerted authorities May 24.
“We would like to pursue this case as best we can, and the more information we get, the better," Baccala told the station.
“It’s graphic. It’s disturbing,” Baccala said about the video. “You can insert any number of words in that. We really just want to find the person who did that and the person who shot the video.”
“If someone’s going to treat an animal like that, how are they going to treat a human?” Baccala told the Kansas City Star.
“If someone’s going to treat an animal like that, how are they going to treat a human?”
The video shows the kicker dressed in black and purple, and at least two other people in addition to the camera holder, the Star reported.
Neither the kicker nor the person filming have been identified yet, so authorities are hoping the release of the video will help identify and locate the suspects, the Star reported.
Anyone with information is urged to call 311 if in Kansas City, or 816-513-1313 from outside the area.