A woman who allegedly shared videos of her hanging, skinning and killing cats and dogs under the name “Crazy Cat Lady” has been has been charged for animal cruelty.
Krystal Cherika Scott, 19, of Kokomo, Indiana is accused of creating sick ‘animal crushing’ videos and sharing them on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.
Scott is said to have obtained some of the animals she allegedly tortured and killed by responding to online ads from people looking to rehome their pets.
According to the Indiana U.S. Attorney’s Office, Scott has been accused of creating and sharing the videos and images on different social media platforms from around May 3 until at least July 8.
She could face up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 (£195,000) if found guilty of the charges under the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.
Police were alerted to the videos after several people spotted them online and conducted their own investigation into who was behind them, before providing information to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
When officers then searched Scott’s home they found three live dogs, twelve live cats, and several lizards, as well as numerous animal parts, including skulls believed to belong to cats and dogs.
The investigation began on June 16 when the Boise, Idaho Police Department received information from social media users across the world and animal campaigners. After reviewing the videos and images, the officers concluded that they constituted “animal crush videos,” which is a federal violation.
The Boise Police Department then teamed up with the FBI and Ada County Idaho Sheriff’s Office.
The forces discovered that Kokomo Police Department had been investigating Scott for similar animal cruelty complaints, but they had been unable to make an arrest and were unaware of the other investigations involving Scott.
As agents worked to gather evidence, Scott allegedly continued to post images of dead animals on Instagram and Tik-Tok as late as July 8, 2020 before officers were granted search warrants.
The FBI searched her property on July 14 and seized a phone found to have been used to distribute a animal crushing videos.
Scott told officers that her mother did not participate in acts of animal crushing or posting animal crushing videos.
Scott has been charged under the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act and the 2019 Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, which allows higher sentences for this type of crime.
Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, FBI Indianapolis said: “Animal abusers have total power over that animal and, if someone is willing to be that cruel to an animal, evidence suggests they may target vulnerable humans as well.
“In November of 2019, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act was passed to address this issue and to assist law enforcement to better target intervention efforts with respect to animal cruelty and the crimes for which it serves as a marker.
“Our agents and law enforcement partners will continue to diligently work to identify and investigate those who would perpetrate these crimes.”
“This case is an outstanding example of society’s intolerance to animal cruelty and the public’s willingness to do the right thing,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office.
“Tips poured in from all over the world, assisting in an intense and technically complex investigation to find the alleged perpetrator and put a stop to the senseless and horrific abuse of innocent animals.”