A kitten beaten by a police officer has been temporarily adopted by another officer in Bayamon, a city near Puerto Rico’s capital.
Officer Edwin Rodriguez agreed on Wednesday to take in the kitten on a temporary basis.
The kitten’s story, which garnered press coverage on the island, prompted chief Israel Vazquez to make the feline the official mascot of the Bayamon Police Region.
The kitten is in “very good” condition despite the beating, Bayamon police officer Graciela Margoya told Efe.
The kitten, now known as “Lucky,” will be cared for by Rodriguez until it recovers and will then be taken to headquarters to serve as the Bayamon Police Region mascot.
“For the time being, I’ll have the responsibility and privilege of caring for ‘Lucky.’ That’s the name I gave him,” the officer, who has two dogs at home, said.
The veterinarian who treated the kitten found that the animal sustained a lung injury, but he said the injuries from the beating were not life-threatening.
Lucky was found by an officer Tuesday at a shopping center and placed in a cardboard box.
Officer Edgar Velez kicked the kitten repeatedly in front of fellow officers, who filed charges against him.
Velez faces abuse and abandonment charges under Puerto Rico’s Animal Welfare and Protection Law 154.
The judge handling the case issued a warrant for Velez’s arrest and set bail at $2,000 for each count.
The case, which has received extensive coverage in the Puerto Rican media, came to the attention of interim Puerto Rico Police Superintendent Col. Hector Agosto, who requested a detailed report on the incident.
Agosto said he wanted to make it clear that no one was above the law, an administrative investigation was underway and the officer faced a possible suspension.
Velez is not on duty and his service weapon was taken away from him, Margoya said.
For the original report go to http://www.laprensasa.com/309_america-in-english/2316631_officer-adopts-kitten-beaten-by-fellow-cop-in-puerto-rico.html