A Lenexa man is accused of killing his girlfriend's pets, one after another.
Chris Matthew Tittle, 23, is charged with three felony counts of animal cruelty, accused of killing two kittens and a ferret.
"The first one was poisoned," Lenexa police officer Dan Friesen said. "That would have been one of the kittens. Then the latter two were suffocation by a plastic bag."
Police said the animals were killed last fall about a month apart from each other.
Tittle and his live-in girlfriend got the kittens from the Great Plains SPCA in Merriam.
The first kitten, named Ozzy, was adopted in July and died in November. The next, Venus, was adopted in November and died in December. The ferret died soon after. It's unclear where the couple got the ferret.
"At first the lady was concerned that there might be something in the apartment that these animals were getting into," Friesen said. "Later on she became suspicious of her live-in boyfriend."
She contacted police on April 9 with her suspicious. Tittle was charged on May 1.
Friesen said the city's animal control staff rarely get animal abuse cases that allege malice. Usually, he said, it's a result of neglect.
"And generally that's rectified by education," Friesen said. "Maybe some assistance provided to people to have the proper tools to take care of their animals."
Great Plains SPCA director Courtney Thomas said shelter staff try to ensure that adoptive pet parents have those proper tools. They are screened about what they expect from a pet and what level of care they are willing provide in order to determine if they are a match for a particular pet or breed.
"I wish there was a way to predict malicious intent," Thomas said.
Friesen said Tittle's girlfriend has since split from him.
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