People call for justice for cat drowned in rural West Lafayette

WARNING: Video content is graphic. The original video was uploaded on November 23rd, but has since been removed.

Posted: Nov 29, 2018 7:10 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2018 9:23 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind (WLFI) - A video of two people in rural West Lafayette drowning a cat in a body of water is getting attention on social media.

The video was uploaded on November 23rd but has since been removed.

It depicts someone in a black SUV giving the person holding the phone an O-K. The person recording then kicks the trap containing a cat, which had a collar on, into the water. It happened at a small pond just south of Hadley Lake on the property of 52 Mobile Home Estates.

“To see that happen, I cried,” said a woman who was a former renter at the mobile home park. She wishes to remain anonymous for legal reasons. “I cried like a baby and I'm not even going to lie. I couldn’t believe the heartlessness.”

"To dispose of them in this way is unforgivable and it's criminal," said Sharon Dull, who works for North Central Indiana Spay and Neuter.

It was posted by Erik Heat on his Instagram and YouTube pages. News 18 reached out to Heat through Facebook. He said the videos were only found on his pages and that he was not involved in what happened, also that he had cooperated with investigators.

An official complaint was filed with the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Animal Control department on Monday, November 26th, three days after it was originally uploaded.

Ken Baldwin is the owner of 52 Mobile Home Estates. Our anonymous source said she remembered asking Baldwin about the stray cat situation in the neighborhood when she moved in. She recalled him saying that they keep the population under control using live traps.

“He was never very specific about what he did with them,” she said. “I thought he took them to the humane society or a shelter.”

When she saw the video, she recognized the black SUV as Baldwin’s.

"I saw that video and I immediately knew,” she said. “I knew that black truck, that black Chevy truck and just the way his voice sounded, I knew it was Ken."

She also recognized the place where it happened.

“We took our kids fishing in that pond about 30 or 40 times that summer we lived there, it’s the same dock as in the video, it’s the same place,” she said.

Dull said her spay and neuter organization had reached out within the past two or three years to help the mobile home park with stray cat problems.

"We have reached out to this specific trailer park and offered assistance to TNR (Trap Neuter Return) the cats,” she said. “I know of at least three other animal groups who have tried to assist as well."

But she said these attempts to help were always ignored. She also said there are steps the mobile home park could take to limit the amount of abandoned pets that sometimes add to the stray problem.

“They could require the tenants who are pet owners to spay and neuter their pets or they could just ban animals all together,” she said. “They don’t have to allow people to have pets.”

In the state of Indiana it is a Class C felony to intentionally torture an animal. That comes with a fine of up to 10-thousand dollars and the possibility of one and a half years in prison.

"I really hope that justice is served for this cat, not only for this cat but for any other animals,” said our anonymous source. “There is no reason that this should be allowed to happen.”

Dull has a message for anyone who sees animal abuse happen in our area.

"Report it. We have an outstanding prosecutor that is pursuing these cases, our animal control officers are doing an excellent job,” she said. “Report these to WE Tipp or just call animal control.”

News 18 tried, unsuccessfully, to get a comment from Baldwin today. Anyone with information about the video is asked to contact the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department at 765-423-9388.

A black cat with a pink collar that belonged to a family in the Hadley Lake area has recently gone missing. It is not confirmed if the missing cat is the same one that was killed in the video. Anyone who finds the missing cat can contact the WLFI station to be put in contact with the owners.

West Lafayette
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 97°
Kokomo
Few Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 97°
Rensselaer
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 87°
Fowler
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 87°
Williamsport
Broken Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 93°
Crawfordsville
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 79°
Frankfort
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 90°
Delphi
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 90°
Monticello
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 90°
Logansport
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 90°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48524

Reported Deaths: 2698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11682684
Lake5180242
Elkhart330146
Allen2798132
St. Joseph196466
Cass16389
Hamilton1563101
Hendricks1410100
Johnson1288118
Porter73237
Tippecanoe7268
Madison65964
Clark65544
Bartholomew58644
LaPorte58026
Howard57757
Kosciusko5494
Vanderburgh5486
Marshall4904
Noble48228
Jackson4723
LaGrange4709
Hancock45035
Boone44543
Delaware44550
Shelby42625
Floyd38144
Morgan32931
Monroe30028
Grant29526
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Henry27415
Dubois2736
White26510
Decatur25032
Lawrence24625
Dearborn23823
Vigo2358
Harrison21822
Warrick21829
Unassigned193193
Greene18932
Miami1832
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1627
Daviess14317
Wayne1406
Orange13623
Perry1299
Steuben1292
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1177
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Gibson812
Huntington812
Randolph794
Wells731
Fulton721
Jefferson722
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey420
Brown391
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton321
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events