ST. GEORGE — It's a sight Lee Webb says he'll never forget: a dead kitten with two blowgun darts through its skull, lying in his backyard.

"I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought, ‘That’s not real,'" Webb said. "It's disgusting seeing a domesticated animal killed for no reason. It's ridiculous. It's just not right."

The St. George man said he was home Friday morning when he heard his dog barking and growling in his backyard. Webb said he thought someone might be in his yard so he walked over to the patio door, but he couldn't see anyone.

"So I opened the door and walked out, and right here laying by our fountain was a dead kitten with two blowgun darts stuck through its head," Webb said.

The darts had long metal spikes with plastic ends, he said. Two were in the kitten's head, and Webb found several others in his yard.

"It's disgusting," he said. "Seeing a domesticated animal killed for no reason whatsoever is ridiculous. I think there should be jail time for that and not just a slap on the hand. It's just not right."

St. George police spokesman Sam Despain said officers interviewed several residents in the neighborhood Friday evening. A 16-year-old boy was questioned, and officers found probable cause that he was involved in the incident, Despain said.

The 16-year-old was referred to juvenile court and will face animal cruelty charges, police said.

The kitten was a community cat and didn't belong to anyone, but wandered through the neighborhood at random, Webb said.

"(Pets) don't know any better," he said. "They expect us to be nice to them. They don't expect you to kill them. Especially kittens, they'll come right up to you and rub your leg and they'll be wanting water or milk and then you stick a dark in their head? Come on."

A similar incident occurred in February when a teen boy was referred to juvenile court after shooting a cat with an arrow in Washington County.

Contributing: Miranda Collette

Email: fheaton@ksl.com