This morning in the 33rd Circuit Court, Travis Jon Nelson, 29, Boyne City, was sentenced to pay $1,874 in restitution and to serve 100 hours of community service at the Charlevoix County Humane Society following his conviction on animal cruelty charges.
On October 3, 2019, Nelson pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted torturing of an animal.
Nelson admitted that he had used a small hair tie band with metal wraps to attempt to castrate a house cat belonging to his girlfriend’s mother. Nelson said that he had seen this procedure, called “banding”, used on farm animals and thought that it would save money on neutering.
The band was left on the cat for approximately two weeks.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, a witness said that the banding had made the cat act angry and appear to be in pain. The procedure caused the banded area to turn red and purple. Eventually, on another family member took the cat to an animal clinic who in turn notified Charlevoix County Animal Control who investigated the incident.
Since February 25, 2019, the cat has been in the care of the humane society. The restitution was ordered to compensate the humane society for the care and treatment of the cat.
Judge Roy C. Hayes III said that though it appeared that Nelson did not mean to harm the cat, his actions showed a lack of common sense and caused injury. Hayes told Nelson that he would first have to undergo an interview at the humane society to be cleared for community service but that the court’s expectation was that the community service would be performed there.