JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – A Jefferson County man is facing charges of aggravated cruelty to animals for the drowning of a kitten and attempting to drown another.

Police were called to Corsica Borough on Sept. 29, after they received reports of a kitten being drowned. Byron Kifer, 38, of Jefferson County later admitted that he attempted to drown both kittens in a bucket near a shed according to court documents.

Kifer told police it was more humane to drown them rather than let them starve because he believed they were strays and had no mother, according to court documents. Kifer continued by telling police he placed one of the kittens in the bucket of water and then returned the next day to place another kitten inside.

A third kitten made its way to a neighboring home where someone heard it meowing and came to make sure the kitten was alright, according to court documents.

Once they were closer to the kitten they heard more meowing and followed it to the bucket. The neighbor then opened the bucket and found both a dead and a live kitten in the water, according to the documents.

The two living kittens were taken in by the neighbor until the cat rescue group Stray Cat Central could pick them up, according to the criminal complaint.

Court documents show that police then interviewed Kifer, where he admitted to drowning one kitten and attempting to drown the other.

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Kifer is facing a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals that resulted in death, as well as two misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sunday, February 8.