This weekend, as families were enjoying a beautiful view of the lake, they saw an awful image they'll never forget. One of their neighbors allegedly walked down to the water with his pet cat inside of a cage, and he decided to submerge the cage for several minutes, drowning his cat.
"This is such a safe neighborhood, nothing like this ever happens over here," said a resident who wished to keep her identity hidden.
The peaceful lake life that so many families are used to at Lake Waukomis was shaken Sunday, after one of their neighbors was charged with animal abuse, for allegedly killing his family pet.
"The gentleman acknowledged that he put the cat in a cage, took it down in the lake and held it in the water for five minutes, until the cat drowned," said Lake Waukomis Police Investigator Pete Edlund.
Edlund said a mother and her children called 911 on Sunday about 1:30 p.m. They told police they watched in horror, and tried to make the man stop.
"She hollered at him, and her kids saw it and apparently some other neighbors saw it," he said.
According to the police report, Thomas Newhouse told police that when his family returned from church on Sunday, the cat had bitten and scratched his fiancé and daughter-in-law, so they decided to drown what he called the vicious cat.
Newhouse told police he went to the dock, and not seeing anyone around, he held the cat in the cage under the water, until the thrashing stopped.
"It just breaks my heart," said the resident.
The tearful resident showed KCTV5 pictures of her two cats, and said she was very upset at how anyone could be so cruel.
"It's ridiculous. He should be punished very badly for what he did. He does not deserve a good thing in his life," she said. "That's just natural, that's what cats do. There's no need for that, they took it way too far. It just breaks your heart. I didn't even see it, but it just haunts me at night."
Nobody answered at Newhouse's lake house or at his home in Shawnee, KS, when KCTV5 stopped by.
Police said they explained to him that there's a right way and a wrong way to remove an unwanted family pet.
"There are all kinds of animal shelters that are more than willing to take discarded or unwanted animals. You don't have to kill it and don't have to drown it in the lake," Edlund said.
Newhouse's court date for the municipal ticket for animal abuse is Aug. 20.
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