The mothers of the two teens charged with animal cruelty at the Craven Country Jamboree are trying to set the record straight.
On Tuesday, the Crown stayed the charges against the 18-year-old and 17-year-old.
At the time, the story shared on social media was that the two teens allegedly doused the kitten in alcohol and set it alight, which in turn set off a firestorm of reaction online. However, the story that Lynn Berthelot, the 18-year-old’s mom, and the mom to the young teen, whose name we legally cannot report, tells is quite different.
They say the cat actually appeared on the farm a day prior to the music festival and the injuries were consistent with it possibly being caught in a motor engine.
Photos they have showed the kitten had singed whiskers, a cut by its ear, burns on its paws and under its chin. It was also limping.
Those pictures were shared by the mom on Facebook in the hopes someone would either take it in or know where it came from.
A friend responded they would take in the kitten and the two teens headed there on the way to Craven.
When they arrived no one was home and, not wanting to leave the kitten alone, they took it with them to Craven.
“They thought it would be irresponsible just to drop a kitten off when no one is home,” Berthelot said. “People take their dogs to Craven, other people have their cats there.”
At Craven, some girls reported that the boys had injured a cat and reported them to the RCMP on site. Officers took the cat to the vet.
That is where the moms feel fact blurred with fiction.
“The vet put on social media that the cat had been doused in alcohol and set on fire. That was the vet, not the police, no one else,” Berthelot explained.
Berthelot feels the vet should have let the police do their work rather than sharing, what the moms say, is incorrect information.
The two women say the girls who made the initial report have denied saying that the teens set the cat on fire, so it isn’t clear where that initial report came from.
Neither woman believes they can truly set the record straight online.
They say the photo of the kitten the vet shared on social media was one from a house fire and was not even the kitten involved in this case.
Both moms are shocked by the abuse both their teens have suffered as a result of people online only knowing half the story.
“I was simply flabbergasted when I got a look at Facebook at how many people said they witnessed it, how many people wanted to set the boys on fire, how many people wanted to curb stomp them,” the 17-year-old’s mom said.
Both want those making the threats to be held accountable for their words.
“It makes me sick as a mother to read this stuff of what people are going to do to my son, it makes me very, very worried for their safety,” Berthelot maintained.
The vet involved has been contacted for comment.