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John Gregory Hayden Jr., 30, of Owings was arrested Aug. 30 and charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal after he allegedly hit a cat in the head with a croquet mallet.

He was released Sept. 4 from the Calvert County Detention Center after posting his $3,000 bond.

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control officer C. Montgomery responded Aug. 27 to Allied Partners Veterinary Emergency Services in Huntingtown for a report of cruelty to a cat, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

The cat had been brought to the veterinary office two days earlier by Hayden, who said the cat had been “accidentally hit in the head with a croquet mallet,” the press release states. Hayden’s wife said the family wanted the cat to be euthanized so he would not suffer, which was done immediately.

Investigation into the cats injuries revealed Hayden had become angry and hit the cat with the croquet mallet because it had defecated in the house, according to the press release.

The charge of aggravated cruelty to an animal carries a possible penalty of a three-year jail sentence or a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both, the press release states.

KATIE FITZPATRICK