A Texas man will spend the next 6 1/2 years behind bars after a nanny cam video captured him torturing his former girlfriend’s cat over a five-hour period in what one investigator described as one of the worst cases of animal abuse he’s ever seen.
A jury in Hunt County, Texas, outside of Dallas, last week convicted Shubhankar Kawle of cruelty to non-livestock animals – torture, a third-degree felony. The cat, Nimbus, suffered injuries so severe she needed to be euthanized, the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
The sheriff’s office first received a complaint on Oct. 13, 2021, for animal abuse. The Herald-Banner reported that the complainant was a woman who briefly dated Kawle. She told deputies she called them because her two cats kept suffering mysterious injuries.
One of her cats suffered an injury so severe its leg had to be amputated.
In response, the woman installed a nanny cam to see what her boyfriend was up to when he was home alone with the cats, the sheriff’s office said. The woman left Kawle alone on Oct. 9, 2021, and the video that was captured was “horrific and heartbreaking,” an investigator said.
The footage showed Kawle torturing the cat for over five hours. Investigators found several signs of extreme abuse including “stains on the walls” inside the home, along with a metal rod, the press release said. A forensic veterinarian concluded the cat’s injuries were consistent with what was seen on the video.
An investigator from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas obtained an arrest warrant for Kawle, who was taken into custody while he was in class at the University of Texas at Dallas.
“Torturing an animal is inhumane and illegal, and what Mr. Kawle did to Nimbus was not only horrific and heartbreaking, but one of the single worst cases of animal torture I’ve seen in my career,” said Chief Investigator Burns in a statement. “I’m pleased to see the perpetrator of this heinous crime brought to justice.”
The Herald-Banner reported Kawle’s defense lawyers tried to get the video suppressed from being shown at trial, arguing that it was recorded without his knowledge or consent and thus violated his privacy. However, that motion was denied and jurors saw the gruesome video at trial. Kawle also claimed he did not remember torturing Nimbus. His defense lawyers argued his memory loss could be due to sleep deprivation and the stress of college. But the Herald Banner reported prosecutors were able to demonstrate he remembered several other activities around the time of the incident, causing them to describe his memory loss as “oddly specific.”
Kawle was taken into custody after the trial.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]