LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - A Las Cruces man is facing a felony animal cruelty charge for allegedly force-feeding methamphetamines to his pet cat, authorities said Tuesday.
The charges stem from 39-year-old Aaron Spaulding's arrest in June for allegedly punching his girlfriend repeatedly and holding her against her will.
While investigating that attack, police said they also became aware of potential abuse and neglect of Spaulding's pets -- a dog and a cat -- at his home on Boutz Road in Las Cruces.
The animals were taken into custody and police said Spaulding’s cat later tested positive for meth.
"The feline was examined by a veterinarian who indicated to police that the cat showed signs of neurological deficits. The cat’s blood was tested for drugs and those tests proved positive for methamphetamines," a Las Cruces police statement said.
Investigators allege he would strangle the cat and then forcibly feed it drugs.
Spaulding, who is currently free on bond, is now charged with false imprisonment, two counts of battery against a household member, interference with communication and one felony county and one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.