Man sentenced in cat’s drowning |

Man sentenced in cat’s drowning

A 27-year-old Snowmass Village man will spend the next two years on probation after pleading guilty to drowning his family’s cat last summer.

Nathaniel Work pleaded guilty earlier this year to felony cruelty to animals and misdemeanor animal cruelty. On Tuesday, he received a two-year deferred judgment and sentence, meaning the felony charge will be wiped from his record if he stays out of trouble for the next two years.

Work was in the Pitkin County Jail from the time of the offense in August until February, when a state psychiatrist found him competent but said he must take medication to keep him stable and stay away from mind-altering drugs.

Work has been in a residential treatment facility in recent months and has been doing well, said District Judge Chris Seldin. By all accounts, including from Work himself, the treatment has been a “game-changer,” the judge said.

“Since this unfortunate incident, you’ve made a tremendous amount of progress,” Seldin said.

Still, the judge warned Work to be careful and not fool himself into thinking he’d be better off without treatment or medication.

“One of the key components (of the sentence) is participation in mental-health treatment,” the judge said.

Work admitted to officers he drowned the cat in the bathtub of his family’s home in Snowmass Village. Officers found the dead black-and-white cat in a bucket on the front porch of the home.

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