On Thursday, 46-year-old Frank Rodriguez appeared in Missoula Justice Court and he was charged with two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty. Justice of the Peace Landee Halloway presided over the case and she described the allegations.

“It is alleged that on or about November 4th, 2020, you in Missoula County committed the offense of aggravated animal cruelty by purposely or knowingly killing or inflicting cruelty to an animal with the purpose of terrifying, torturing, or mutilating the animal, namely mutilating or killing a kitten by cutting its head off,” Halloway said. “Count two is on the same date. You committed the offense of animal cruelty, specially by torturing a kitten by pulling apart its insides.”

Deputy County Attorney Megan Hansen explained why the state requested bail be set in this case.

“The state is going to recommend that bail be imposed in the matter based on the allegations that the defendant sent photos of the dead kittens to his daughters with the note ‘LOL’ as well as telling his ex-wife that he was going to kill the kittens,” Hansen said. “Bail is going to be requested in the amount of $20,000. We would recommend conditions of release to include no possession of any other animals. The defendant had one live kitten, two cats, a dog, and a python removed from his home.”

Initially, Judge Halloway had decided to release Rodriguez on his own recognizance. However, after finding out Rodriguez’s children live with him in his home, she ultimately decided to set bail in the amount of $10,000 pending further investigation.

Rodriguez's charging documents can be found below. WARNING: The description of the allegations is graphic in nature.

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