A man who stuffed his girlfriend's cat into a makeshift bong and smoked marijuana through it said Tuesday that he had done it on other occasions and that it calmed the cat down.
Acea Schomaker of Lincoln said he never intended to hurt the 6-month-old cat, Shadow.
Lancaster County sheriff's deputies responding to a domestic disturbance at the residence ticketed the 20-year-old Schomaker on suspicion of misdemeanor animal cruelty Sunday after catching him smoking marijuana from a boxlike contraption that had the cat stuffed inside its 12-inch by 6-inch base.
Schomaker's girlfriend, Marissa Vieux, also was ticketed for animal cruelty because she didn't try to stop Schomaker, Sgt. Andy Stebbing said.
Vieux, 22, said she took in the cat about two months ago from friends who abused it.
Schomaker said the cat would bite and scratch them but he didn't want to discipline it by swatting or squirting water at it. He said they didn't bring it to an animal shelter because they feared it would be put down.
So Schomaker said he decided to use the makeshift bong because he had heard about people calming their pets by blowing marijuana smoke in their faces.
"I know for sure this isn't the first time someone has done this," he said. "I'm just the first one to get caught."
He said he put the cat in the bong a total of three times and it seemed to calm the cat.
"Every time we took her out she would pretty much just lay down and proceed to clean herself and act like a stoned person," Schomaker said.
The bong had a foot-long piece of garden hose coming out of a Plexiglas box, with the top secured with duct tape. Schomaker said it was constructed in such a way that the cat did not get immersed in smoke to the extent some might believe.
Schomaker said law enforcement and animal specialists lectured him about why what he did was cruel, and that he learned from his mistake.
This March 1, 2009, booking photo provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff's Dept., shows Acea Schomaker of Lincoln, Neb. He was booked Sunday on suspicion of animal cruelty, after deputies caught him smoking marijuana from a bong contraption that had a cat stuffed inside its 12-inch by 6-inch base. Schomaker told Lancaster County sheriff's deputies the 6-month-old female cat named Shadow had been hyper and that he was trying to calm her. Shadow was taken to the Capital Humane Society, where she appeared to be in good condition. (AP Photo/Lancaster County Sheriff Dept.)
A homemade bong, consisting of a piece of garden hose attached to a duct-taped plexiglas box, is seen in this March 1, 2009, handout photo provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff's Dept. Deputies responding Sunday, March 1, 2009, to a domestic disturbance call at a Lincoln, Neb., area residence, cited a 20-year-old man on suspicion of animal cruelty after catching him smoking marijuana from the contraption that had Shadow, a six-month-old female cat, stuffed inside its 12-inch by 6-inch base. The man told deputies the cat had been acting hyper and that he was trying to calm her down. (AP Photo/Lancaster County Sheriff Dept.)
Shadow, a 6-month-old female cat, is seen in this March 1, 2009, photo provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff's Dept. Shadow was rescued by deputies, who discovered the cat trapped in a "bong" after responding to a domestic disturbance call at a residency that a 20-year old suspect shares with his grandfather in the Lincoln, Neb., area. (AP Photo/Lancaster County Sheriff Dept.)
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