Indiana woman who shared videos of herself torturing, killing cats and dogs charged under federal PACT Act

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on July 20, 2020 with 18 Comments

An Indiana woman, who shared images and videos on social media that showed her torturing and graphically killing cats and dogs by hanging and skinning them, has been charged under the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, a groundbreaking federal law we helped pass last year. If found guilty, Krystal Cherika Scott, 19, of Kokomo, Indiana, could face up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, a penalty far more severe than any she would have faced had she been charged under state law.

A release from the U.S. District Attorney’s office in Indiana, announcing Scott’s arrest on last Tuesday, offers a disturbing look at her grisly pastime. 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. Between May and July, she posted several images and videos over various social media platforms that showed her torturing and killing the animals when some animal lovers discovered her posts and brought them to the attention of authorities.

FBI special agents and other law enforcement officers who searched Scott’s home recovered what appeared to be numerous animal parts and skulls belonging to cats and dogs. Agents also discovered approximately three live dogs, 12 live cats and several lizards. These animals are now in the care of the Kokomo Humane Society, which plans to put them up for adoption after the investigation concludes.

As sad and terrifying as this story is, it is heartening to remember that had these crimes been discovered before the PACT Act or the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010 came into existence, Scott would likely have been prosecuted under Indiana state law, which allows for a maximum penalty of two and a half years in prison.

The 2010 federal animal crushing law was designed to stop the creation and sale of videos of animal crushing for sexual gratification. However, that law did not allow the FBI and other federal law enforcement authorities to prosecute the underlying animal cruelty, like crushing, burning and suffocating animals, absent the production of a video, nor the movement of animals across state lines or other interstate activities related to the cruel exploitation of animals.

The PACT Act was introduced to close this loophole and our legal team, along with the Humane Society Legislative Fund, worked with the bill’s lead sponsors—Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and former Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas—to pass it with overwhelming support before it was signed into law by President Trump in November 2019.

We applaud the FBI and local law enforcement officials who worked swiftly to bring charges against Scott. We enjoy a close relationship with these agencies, which have increasingly recognized the strong link between acts of animal cruelty and violence against humans. Just this year, our Law Enforcement Training Center has trained more than 3,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, social service and animal control professionals in identifying instances of animal cruelty. In June, we launched the first Humane Society of the United States training partnership with the FBI, addressing agents and analysts from its Behavioral Analysis Unit, which is integral to shaping the future of criminal investigative analysis. During the first training, agents learned about animal cruelty’s relationship to violent crime and the application of the PACT Act.

The story leading up to Scott’s arrest is also a tribute to the vigilance of animal lovers, who brought Scott’s posts to the attention of the Boise, Idaho, police department, and the role that each one of us can play in bringing those who mistreat animals to justice. As Special Agent Paul Haertel of the FBI’s Salt Lake City field office said in the U.S. attorney’s press release, “This case is an outstanding example of society’s intolerance to animal cruelty and the public’s willingness to do the right thing.”

We will be watching this case closely as it moves up, and we will keep you updated on its progress in days to come.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

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18 Comments

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  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Esta mujer tiene que pagar cómo es posible que gente así con esa mentalidad en disuelta en la calle sin pagar por sus crímenes es una persona violenta debe de estar tras las rejas

  2. Susan Heron- Brown says:

    This is so very sad to think this women could do such evil to animals and that were beloved pets at one time. She must be mental as well as very evil.

  3. Alan-Charles Ellaway says:

    Throw the book at her!
    Put her away for as long as possible!
    Make her life as miserable as possible!

    Nothing can make up for what she put these animals through.
    I’d be happy if she never gets out@

    The only way to deal with animal cruelty is to punish with the severest sentencing available!

    NO PAROLE EVER!!!!

  4. Connie Delk says:

    What about the mother she lived with? Why is she not be prosecuted??

  5. Cherie Howe says:

    Thank god this heinous murderer has been caught and and will face prison, I hope she goes on the animal abuser register. She’s 19, this is just appalling.
    She has to be made to pay.

  6. Claudia says:

    Nothing will happen to her. Google 2 boys torture wild deer in Pennsylvania. These laws are a joke.

  7. Loretta Slocum says:

    I am torn between outrage and revulsion at the teen’s craven acts of depravity and cruelty. The passage of the PACT act is one reason why I contribute monthly to both HSUS and the ASPCA. There indeed is no shortage of violence towards animals out there. I adopted two miniature poodles exploited as breeders in a puppy mill, little ladies who were discarded like trash after their “owner” squeezed every puppy from their little bodies until they could do no more to put dollars in his pocket. HSUS is a voice and advocate for many more animals than I could ever adopt.

  8. Jacqueline says:

    Craig’s list and others CAN NOT allow free pets as Sociopaths like her do this. They should be charged and legally pets can’t be given away! Animal registries for animal offenders needs to be activated so no animal can be sold to them.

  9. Nancy says:

    Give her ten with parole after serving the ten! And that6being lenient 😡

  10. Sally Schrock says:

    While this is a very good start against the perpetrators of animal torture and cruelty, in my opinion it is not enough with regard to prison time. It should be 15 years at the very MINIMUM!

  11. Lisa Noble says:

    This person is clearly demonstrating precursor for more violent behaviors. She likely has been abused but regardless, must be watched because she is a serious danger to society.

  12. Judith Bealt says:

    This woman should be made an example of the highest punishment possible. Her crime and punishment needs to stamped all over media as a warning. This is more than horrifying.

    • Melinda says:

      I agree. SADISM toward animals should be taken very seriously. It’s beyond disturbing .(sexual perversions)

  13. Fran Bambara says:

    She needs to be imprisoned for life!! She has MURDERED lives of innocent creatures!!

  14. Kathy Sivyer: says:

    If you don’t mind me politely asking, was it the FBI who arrested & charged those individual’s or the state? Also, do you know if there were live video’s posted repeatedly on social media? It shouldn’t make a difference. Animal abuse should never be tolerated & should always be prosecuted as a felony. I sure hope this twisted dirt bag gets the full 7 year’s plus many more!

  15. Teri Jo says:

    If we see animal abuse happening; how do we report it?

  16. Renata DeGil says:

    It should be unlawful for social media sites like facebook, craigs list etc to post people trying to sell or rehome pets. This happens all the time. These subhumans are looking all around these sites for their prey. The HSUS should be advocating to put a stop to the advertisement of live animals on these sites.

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