Utah couple receiving death threats after posting video showing man throwing cat
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) - A Weber County couple is speaking out about getting death threats following a video showing animal cruelty.
In the video, 21-year-old Kyle Smith picks up and throws his cat. His girlfriend, 18-year-old Kylee Allen, posted the video to Snapchat for a few minutes – long enough for someone else to screen grab and share it online.
It has since been viewed tens of thousands of times.
The cat, Two Face, is doing just fine and was uninjured in the incident. Both Allen and Smith agree and acknowledge animal cruelty is not acceptable in any form. However, they say their lives have been taken over by a flood of hate mail.
Those messages are mostly from strangers, telling the pair to “kill themselves” or that people are looking for them to “kill them.”
They say they’re thankful for having a supportive family around them, stating for those who don’t – and receive those types of messages – the results could be devastating.
Smith has also been investigated by police over the video. He has been cited for animal cruelty and has a hearing pending.
2News spoke with psychologists Tuesday about what to do if someone you know has been getting death threats on social media. Candice Christiansen, founder of Namasté Center For Healing, says parents can do the following if their teens are being cyberbullied:
- Be an ongoing support to your teen. Let your teen know you are there for them no matter what, especially since teens often remain silent when victimized by cyberbullies
- Collect evidence; print out or make screen shots of messages that could be used as proof that your teen is being cyberbullied in case you decide to report it to law enforcement
- Contact the police if physical threats are involved including death threats
- Contact the content provider if the cyberbullying is done on social media since cyberbullying violates terms of services for all legitimate services providers
- Implement measures to prevent it from re-occurring; i.e., set up privacy controls on social media accounts to block cyberbullies
Some other resources regarding cyberbullying:
Resources on animal cruelty and reporting it to authorities: