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Men ordered to pay restitution for throwing cat into bonfire

Men ordered to pay restitution for throwing cat into bonfire

MILES CITY — A judge has ordered two Miles City men to pay more than $5,800 in restitution for veterinary care given to a cat that they pleaded guilty to throwing into a bonfire last fall.

The restitution hearing for 20-year-old Joshua J. Yates and 19-year-old Colton D. Nielsen was held Tuesday before District Judge Gary Day.

Attorneys for Yates and Nielsen argued their clients should not have to pay restitution because the vet did not bill the cat's owners. Jean Lindley said she did not bill them because she knew they could not afford it.

The cat, Squirt, lost its tail, a leg and a toe, but owner Michelle Burk said Squirt is otherwise healthy.

Yates and Nielsen pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty by accountability in an agreement that calls for them to be given three-year deferred sentences.

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