Nebraska couple pleads not guilty to animal cruelty charges in cat bong case
Acea Schomaker, the 20-year-old Nebraska man who was cited last month for stuffing a cat inside a homemade bong and subjecting it to marijuana smoke, has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges. His girlfriend, 22-year-old Marissa Vieux, also entered a not-guilty plea.
Schomaker has said he never intended to harm the 6-month-old cat, named Shadow, and only exposed her to marijuana because he'd heard of others calming their pets by blowing marijuana smoke in their faces.
According to Schomaker, Shadow, who was adopted by Vieux two months before the incident from friends who she said were abusive to the cat, had behavior problems. Fearing Shadow would be euthanized if they relinquished her to an animal shelter, Schomaker said he resorted to his unorthodox method for relaxing Shadow.
"I know for sure this isn't the first time someone has done this," he has said. "I'm just the first one to get caught." He also faces additional drug charges as a result of the incident and is scheduled to reappear in court April 20. Vieux is due back in court May 4, Nebraska's KOLN/KGIN radio reports.
The cat was reportedly in good condition; she was removed from the home and taken to the Capitol Humane Society in Lincoln.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Acea Schomaker used this homemade bong, consisting of a piece of garden hose attached to a duct-taped Plexiglass box, to calm the 6-month-old cat, he has said. Credit: Associated Press