KC man pleads guilty to animal abuse after video showed cat kicked on football field

A Kansas City man who reportedly was seen on video kicking a cat on a high school football field last year has pleaded guilty to animal abuse, according to court records.

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office filed the charge against Johnathan M. Taylor, 20, after witnesses told police it was Taylor who was shown kicking the cat like a football at Center High School on the Snapchat video.

The video was released to the public in May 2018 by city officials in an effort to identity those involved.

Three people found a deceased cat on the football field a month after the video surfaced. Court records said it appeared to be the same cat shown in the video.

In an interview with police in July, Taylor denied being at the school when the incident occurred.

The prosecutor’s office charged Taylor in September with one count of animal abuse, a misdemeanor under state law.

Taylor pleaded guilty to the charge Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court, according to court records. Taylor was ordered to be placed on probation for two years, to perform 80 hours of community service at an animal shelter, to not own or live with animals during the probation period and to make a $500 donation to the Kansas City Pet Project.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.