Cat beat to death with hammer, buried in yard

Posted at 6:45 AM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 06:45:56-05

Deputies in Citrus County, Fla., say a man admitted to beating the family's cat to death with a hammer and then burying it in the backyard.

Travis "Tara" Jagger told deputies he killed his boyfriend's 13-year-old cat, Ripper, by repeatedly hitting it in the head with a hammer, according to law enforcement.

Deputies responding to 3871 Millston Point found the cat buried in the backyard in a Playstation box. A Slinky toy was placed atop the grave  as a makeshift headstone, deputies said.

According to an arrest affidavit, Jagger told deputies he killed the cat and originally placed it in a bag and threw it in the trash but felt badly and decided to bury the cat.

When deputies asked when the cat was killed, Jagger reportedly pointed to a calendar. On Nov. 27 it was written, "Rest in Peace Ripper."

Jagger confessed to the killing, saying he killed the cat because "it ran into the house really fast."

Jagger faces animal cruelty charges.

Animal control exhumed the cat's body and a necropsy will be conducted to confirm the cause of death.

"He was like a son to me, it is as simple as that," said Christopher Cheatham, the cat's owner.  "It is a loss, it is a loss that is never going to be replaced.

Cheatham is not sure if he will get Ripper's body back. If he does, he is planning a proper burial.

He added he hopes Jagger receives mental health treatment.

"Karma bites when it wants to and karma is going to bite, karma is going to get its bite," he added.