KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Officials are asking for the public's help to identify a man who violently kicked a cat at a Kansas City, Missouri high school.
The abuse happened on the athletic field at Center High School, according to WDAF. The video shows a man joking about kicking a field goal before taking a running start and kicking a small black cat into the air. The cat goes flying, and then the video stops right after it lands.
City animal health experts estimate the cat was kicked about 20 or 25 yards, they told WDAF. It’s unknown at this time what happened to the kitten in the video.
Officials are also hoping to identify the person who took the video. According to the time stamp, the video was recorded on May 22, KCMO Animal Control Spokesman John Baccala said.
The principal at Center High School alerted animal control officials two days later.
Kelli Wachel, spokeswoman for Center School District, contacted WDAF to explain that the incident happened on the Center High School football field, which the public has access to.
She said it happened in the evening and not during school hours. As soon as the district was made aware of the video, Wachel said they called KCPD and KCMO Animal Control to make a report.
"We can never have enough information. We would like to pursue this case as best we can, and the more information we get, the better," Baccala said.
Many animal welfare professionals across the city reacted with disgust and disappointment after seeing the now viral video.
"It’s graphic. It’s disturbing. You can insert any number of words in that," Baccala said. "We really just want to find the person who did that and the person who shot the video."
“It was really difficult to watch,” Tori Fugate with KC Pet Project said.
Fugate said the organization takes in about 30 animals per day and, on average, at least five of them have suffered trauma.
“We see a lot of those animals come in after they have already been suffering for a long time or have had something happen to them, but to actually see it in action happening to an animal, it was really difficult to watch,” Fugate said.
Animal welfare experts said there’s a bigger picture here, more than just animal cruelty.
“There’s a lot of correlation between violence against people and violence against pets. Usually when you see something as far as violence against pets, there has been a violent crime against a human, there has been a history of animal abuse in their past,” Fugate said.
Do you recognize anyone involved in this video? If you do, officials are urging you to call KCPD, the city's 311 line or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.