Golden told Athens Police investigators Lt. Chris Slaton and Sgt. Johnny Campbell that over the past four months he has had a “cat room” where he throws kittens against the floor to break their necks, stomps on them or wrings their necks, Police Chief Floyd Johnson said.
He told the investigators he bought kittens on craigslist, an online classified advertising website, named them and then killed them. Police received a report of dead kitten carcasses in the Bullington Road area on Sept. 24. During the investigation, police received a tip that Golden was killing the kittens, Johnson said.
Investigators obtained consent from Golden to search his property and found five dead kittens in a brushy area at the back of his property, Slaton said. During the indoor search, police found blood-spatter on the walls and floor, the chief said.
Police also found two live kittens, named Melvin and Mia, and two live dogs. The kittens were placed with the Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter, Johnson said. They could be available for adoption within two weeks.
The last major animal abuse case in Limestone County occurred in 2010. An Elkmont dog breeder who was later found to be suffering from an untreated delusional disorder was charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty. Sheriff’s investigators had found on her property 29 malnourished dogs and 43 dead dogs believed to have died of starvation. The dead dogs were found wrapped and frozen in freezers on her property. She had told investigators she froze the dead dogs because someone was coming to help her properly bury them but had not yet done so.
In 2012, she was found innocent of the charges due to mental defect but was ordered to continue medical treatment and banned from owning more animals. The state’s forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Douglas McKeown, was the only witness to testify in the case. The prosecution had stipulated before the trial that the woman was not guilty by reason of mental defect.