LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KDVR) -- A New Mexico man has been charged with a felony after police say his cat tested positive for meth.
Aaron Spaulding, 39, was initially arrested on June 4 and accused of battering his girlfriend and holding her against her will, the Las Cruces Police Department said in a statement.
While police were responding to the incident at Spaulding's home, they learned he may have been neglecting his dog and a domestic shorthair cat, police said.
Authorities said he strangled and force-fed drugs to the cat, and announced Tuesday that they'd upgraded his animal cruelty counts to a felony after tests found the cat had methamphetamine in its system.
He was originally charged with false imprisonment, two counts of battery against a household member, interference with communication and two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, according to court records.
Authorities said a veterinarian reported signs of neurological deficits in the cat, who was treated and adopted into another home.