A 21-year-old college student has been charged with feeding six live week-old puppies to mountain lions, bobcats and jaguars kept by an animal trainer, the Boulder County sheriff's office said today.
Ellen Malmquist, a student at the University of Colorado, tossed six puppies into the big cats' cages last weekend. Two of the puppies survived when the animal trainer heard their screams and pulled them from the cages. Two others had to be killed because they were severely mangled.
The investigation report said Malmquist told officers she "realized what she had done was probably not right." She said she fed the puppies to the felines because their mother was unable to care for all nine of the puppies.
It was better that the puppies be "used for food" than to become "trash" if they were disposed of by the Humane Society, Malmquist told investigators.
Investigator Pamela Chmielowiec said the puppies basically were tortured to death because the big cats were not hungry and toyed with them before maiming and killing them.
The trainer who owns the large cats, Pat Craig, said Malmquist tried to apologize to him for the incident and asked him to drop any charges. Craig said he would not drop the charges.