GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) A man who was observed beating a stray kitten and discarding it in the trash is now behind bars and the kitten has found a forever home thanks to a team effort by members of the Greenville Police Department.

Shortly after 3:00 a.m. on August 3, GPD telecommunicators were proactively monitoring the city camera system when they observed a man place a young kitten in a trash can outside the G.K. Butterfield Transportation Center.

As the kitten attempted to climb back out of the trash can, telecommunicators observed the suspect strike the kitten in the head and face unprovoked, causing the cat to violently fly back into the trash can.

Officers responded and cited the suspect, 42-year-old Demale Devon Jones of Greenville, with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

After reviewing the footage, Greenville Animal Protective Services was able to upgrade the charge, and Jones was subsequently arrested for Felony Animal Cruelty on August 15.  

He remains in the Pitt County Detention Center on that and unrelated charges.

The kitten, now named “Rocky,” suffered an injury to his mouth but otherwise has made a full recovery and has found a permanent home with a GPD officer and his family. 

He has already claimed the oversized beanbag in his new home and is now living his best life.