Florida woman Christa Thistle, 53, threw pet cat into river after fight with ex-lover

Volusia County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the arrest of a Florida woman who threw her pet cat into a river

                            Florida woman Christa Thistle, 53, threw pet cat into river after fight with ex-lover
Christa Thistle (Volusia County Jail) with an image of Stanley after being rescued (Volusia Sheriff's Office/Facebook)

OAK HILL, FLORIDA: A 53-year-old Florida woman was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after throwing a pet cat into the river. The incident occurred on August 19, 2021, at the Riverwood Park Campground in Oak Hill, Florida. Reportedly, the incident stemmed from a fight the woman, named Christa Thistle had with her ex-boyfriend, who rescued the cat after Thistle threw him in. Luckily, the pet was rescued in time and didn't suffer much harm.

On August 13, we reported on the case against Tonya Fea, who drowned an adopted puppy since she couldn't afford the veterinary bills. Earlier in July, Luis Antonio Campos was arrested in Texas after a viral video of him abandoning a Huskey emerged. The same month, an even more disturbing story emerged of a New York woman attempting to behead her pet dog with a sword. 


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As the cases show, animal cruelty appears to be an increasingly big problem. In fact, data shows that every year, more than 10 million animals die from abuse in the US alone. On August 19, Thistle nearly added to those statistics with her actions, but luckily the pet cat Stanley was rescued very quickly by her ex. 

Bodycam footage showing the arrest of Christa Thistle on August 17, 2021. (Volusia Sheriff's Office/Facebook)

Who is Christa Thistle?

Not much is known about the Oak Hill woman, beyond her arrest. She reportedly lived in a mobile home at the Riverwood Park campground, along with her ex. The duo was apparently in a long-term relationship but broke up recently. As a result, Thistle demanded he move out of their home. The argument that led to Stanley being thrown into the river came "over him not moving out fast enough," according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The 53-year-old reportedly has a record for domestic violence charges, according to Click Orlando. We could not find out more about those charges. Thistle is reportedly being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail and was denied bail. She's been arrested on two charges, one of animal cruelty and another of simple assault. The second charge was added after Thistle reportedly threatened her ex while being taken into custody. According to the police, Thistle demanded to be taken to jail so she could "make a phone call, bond out and murder" her ex, who has not been named. 

Further information is not available about Thistle. Details of the story emerged on August 20, after the Volusia County Sheriff's Office uploaded a video of the arrest to social media, along with details of the incident.


Thistle denies allegations

According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to the campground shortly before 7 pm after Thistle and her ex got into an argument. It's not clear who called the police. Reportedly, Thistle "began moving his belongings out of the RV, knocked over some food that was being cooked." She then picked up Stanley's crate, in which the nine-month-old cat was in, and threw it into the river.

The crate went underwater for about 20 seconds, before Thistle's ex jumped in and rescued Stanley. When the cops arrived, the cat was "wet and shivering". As she was being arrested, Thistle denied the charges. "I did not throw the cat in the river," she can be heard saying in the video. "Tell the truth," she then demands. The video ends with one officer asking Thistle's ex to fill out some paperwork, and an image of Stanley. 

Reportedly the Volusia County Animal Services took custody of Stanley for follow-up evaluation and care. We don't know how Stanley is doing since the office hasn't shared any updates since. Bail was reportedly set at $5,000 for animal cruelty, but according to WFLA, the judge ordered her to remain behind bars for threatening her ex. 

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