UPDATE: August 11, 2017

Tyrike Richardson was indicted in New York State Supreme Court on August 9 for felony aggravated cruelty to animals, torturing and injuring animals, and abandonment of a disabled animal. Alley Cat Allies was at the Richmond County Courthouse on Staten Island to support the prosecution of Chester’s abuser.

Protesters gather outside the Richmond County Courthouse on Staten Island as Tyrike Richardson is arraigned on charges of torturing a cat named Chester.

Richardson, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. He is due back in court on September 18.

More than a dozen protestors gathered outside the courthouse to demonstrate against cruelty to cats and to make it clear they want Richardson prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. About eight protestors attended the hearing in a show of support for Chester.

Chester is still receiving treatment at an animal hospital, but he is expected to make a full recovery, according to an ASPCA spokeswoman.

UPDATE: July 28, 2017

Today, Alley Cat Allies attended the hearing at Richmond Criminal Court on Staten Island where Tyrike Richardson’s request for lower bail was denied. He will reappear in court on August 9, 2017. Protestors stood outside the courthouse holding signs that said, “Justice for Chester” and “No Excuse for Animal Abuse.” We continue to condemn Richardson’s malicious behavior, and will update as the case progresses.

Protestors at Richmond Criminal Court, where Tyrike Richardson’s request for lower bail was denied.

Original Post

In a stomach-churning case, Chester, a defenseless cat in Staten Island, N.Y., was tortured by his owner’s neighbor, who posted the footage on social media. The details of his torture are hard to hear, but Chester survived and is receiving medical care.

According to news reports, police came across the Facebook Live video of Chester’s abuse and were able to find and rescue the cat.

On July 13, police arrested Tyrike Richardson, 21, and charged him with aggravated cruelty to an animal and torturing and not feeding an animal, among other charges.

Alley Cat Allies condemns this abhorrent, brutal torture inflicted upon Chester. We do not tolerate animal cruelty of any kind. People arrested for animal cruelty must be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. We commend law enforcement for giving this heartbreaking case the attention it deserves and quickly taking action to capture Chester’s violent, cruel abuser.

Research has shown that people who intentionally harm animals are also a threat to humans. Taking animal cruelty seriously, and prosecuting it strenuously, is necessary to protect both animals and the public, says Alley Cat Allies President and Founder Becky Robinson.

“We need to do all we can to make sure dangerous, disturbed individuals like Chester’s abuser are put behind bars,” she says.

District Attorney Michael E. McMahon also called the act “disturbing and cruel,” and vowed to “vigorously prosecute this case, just as we do with every instance of animal abuse, to ensure justice is served for this defenseless victim,” he said in a news report.

Richardson is expected to be arraigned on Thursday. We will be watching the case closely and doing all we can to ensure Richardson is fully prosecuted. We wish Chester a smooth and speedy recovery.