There are so many ways to emotionally abuse a child, and one of the most horrific ways is to abuse their beloved pets in front of them. A woman in Phoenix has been arrested for throwing her kids' kitten off a third-story balcony, killing it. Neighbors say they heard the woman, Patricia Gaffin, yelling at her kids, and the kids screaming, before they saw her toss the tiny kitten off the balcony. She has been charged with animal cruelty.

According to court documents, Gaffin admitted throwing the kitten off the balcony because it peed on her carpet. Said a neighbor:

This lady was screaming at her kids. She was threatening them and then all of the sudden she threw this 2-week-old cat off the third-story balcony because it peed on her.

At her initial court appearance, the woman said it was an accident (a kitten accidentally thrown off a balcony?). So we need to say innocent until proven guilty for now. But if proven guilty, this woman needs to be looked into for how she is parenting these children. There is a noted link between animal abusers and those who abuse children.

A more helpless and gut-wrenching feeling I can't imagine if you're a kid, to witness such heartless cruelty. Additionally, if it happened this way, what exactly is she teaching her children?

There is absolutely no excuse for killing a pet, ever. But kittens often aren't totally litter trained yet. Some little kittens can't hold their pee if the litter box is far away. It would have learned quickly though.

This story disgusts me. Not only what the kitten went through, but what those kids may have allegedly gone through, seeing that. If it happened, they will be traumatized for a very long time.

Kudos to the neighbor who got involved and called 911.

Do you think a parent who does this should have their children taken away?

Editor's note: The kitten's age was only an estimate by a neighbor.


Image via AZFamily.com