ALTAMONT, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — An Effingham woman was charged with animal cruelty following an anonymous report to police regarding a video online showing the killing of a companion animal.
According to Altamont Police Chief Alan Heiens, his department received an anonymous tip on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 11:30 a.m. regarding a video posted to Facebook that shows a person torturing and killing what looks to be a guinea pig or hamster.
The graphic video which has been reshared on social media shows the person behind the camera using a lighter to set fire to what looks to be a live hamster that’s wet with some form fluid. The rodent quickly goes up in flames and frantically runs around as the recording person laughs. In the background, another person can be heard warning the woman recording the video that the animal could light the house on fire. Eventually, the hamster comes to a stop and the video focuses on its now-deceased body.
The other person can be heard saying “Jasmine, you’re trippin’.” The woman with the camera who had been laughing can be heard saying “he’s dead, I’m getting closer to him,” as the camera focuses on the animal as the fire goes out.
In one post to Facebook, numerous commenters call for the people responsible’s arrest and admonish those involved. “That’s disgusting I hope u know U gonna have to answer to that [expletive deleted] some day ” one comment reads.
Chief Heiens said officers located and arrested Jasmine Meyer by 6:30 p.m., “The video was pretty self-explanatory,” said Heiens.
Effingham State’s Attorney Alan Jones confirmed that Meyer had been charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal, a level 4 felony.
Meyer is due for arraignment in Effingham County Court Friday at 1 p.m.