CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE – A North Georgia man is currently facing the possibility of being placed on Tennessee’s animal abuse registry after being accused of purposely and willfully shattering a kitten’s head.
Tyler Puryear, 27, of Ringgold was arrested by Hamilton County Sheriff deputies on a warrant which was issued for aggravated animal abuse.
According to an arrest affidavit, committed the crime back on September 30 at a residence in the 5400 block of Towne Hills Lane in Chattanooga.
Puryear’s ex-wife told investigators that her ex-husband came over to the residence uninvited but that she allowed him to stay after they had talked. She said he went into a den area to get some sleep and realized that there was a litter of kittens in the room. She told police that her ex-husband became angry because her daughter wouldn’t take the kittens out of the room.
According to Puryear’s ex-wife, he then grabbed an 8-week old kitten and threw it against a wall.
According to the arrest affidavit, the kitten impacted the wall so hard that it died with obvious blood seeping from the mouth, ears and from the head.
Mr. Puryear reportedly fled the house just before Chattanooga police arrived.
A local vet performed an autopsy on the kitten. The tests determined the kitten died from a shattered skull.
Investigators charged Puryear with aggravated cruelty to animals and noted that he intended to kill the animal willfully.
If convicted, Puryear will likely spend two years on the TBI animal abuse registry.
At first, it was believed that Puryear would not be on the list because if he’s convicted because the crime occurred in 2015. However, after this story broke, TBI officials said that after closely reviewing the law, Puryear will be eligible to be placed on the registry if he is convicted.
According to TBI officials, a felony animal abuse conviction in 2016 on a crime that occurred last year would still qualify an offender to be placed on the registry.
The registry just went into effect on January 1, 2016.
A first time conviction for aggravated animal abuse would land an offender on the registry for two years and a second offense would land an offender on the registry for five years.
Tennessee is currently the only state in the country with an animal abuse registry.
As for Puryear, for now, he’s already out of jail on a $3,000 bond.
He is due to appear in court again on January 26.