SANTA CLARITA, Calif. --Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies found a cat with its paws covered and bound together with electrical tape when they searched a car during a narcotics arrest Saturday night.
Two deputies from the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station approached a suspicious car that was parked behind a closed business. The occupants in the car, a 26-year-old woman and her 23-year-old boyfriend, were found in possession of narcotics.
Deputies then searched the vehicle when they heard a cat meowing and found a cat carrier buried upside down with the animal, named Lilly, inside.
"It was not happy. That's what was attracting our attention, something kind of calling to us," said Adam Halloran of the LASD.
Once Lilly was removed from the carrier, deputies discovered each one of its paws was wrapped in electrical tape and then had both legs bound together with more tape.
The cat could not move and deputies worked to free her as she "meowed in discomfort."
"I mean, when I first found the cat, I was like, 'no way,' the cat was up on its side," said Halloran. "It was crammed in the back. I mean, I own cats, that's not how a cat should be treated."
When deputies asked the couple why they had taped up Lilly, the owner's excuse was almost as surprising as the crime.
"When I asked her, she said 'because it had been scratching.' Isn't that what cats do?" Halloran said.
Both suspect faced drug and felony animal cruelty charges, authorities said.
The cat was turned over to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, which is also investigating the case.
Halloran said Lilly is a sweet and loving cat and hopes she will soon find a safe and loving home.