Pair convicted in animal cruelty case, charged with counterfeiting

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A man and a woman convicted of animal cruelty two years ago for having taped a cat’s paws together are scheduled to appear in court Friday on counterfeiting charges.

Tyler Vest, 25, and Kylie Stringer, 28, are scheduled to appear in San Fernando Superior Court Friday on a felony charge of possessing a counterfeit seal of the United States Department of Treasury U.S. currency, Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, told The Signal Thursday.

They are also charged with possessing an injection/ingestion device, a misdemeanor, he said.

“The criminal complaint alleges Vest was convicted of robbery as a juvenile in 2010, misdemeanor grand theft in 2012, possession for sale of heroin and receiving stolen property in 2016,” Santiago said.

About their most recent charge of counterfeiting, he said: “They both pleaded not guilty and are scheduled for pre-prelim on Feb. 23,” referring to a court date to be held before a preliminary hearing.

On Feb. 10, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Vest and Stringer.

In 2016, the pair was charged after a routine traffic stop revealed their car had “a cat inside a carrier upside down in the backseat” with its legs taped together.

In March 2016, Stringer pleaded no contest to animal cruelty for taping a cat’s legs together and was placed on three years probation. She was also banned from owning pets for five years, ordered to pay animal shelter costs and ordered to receive treatment for drugs and animal abuse.

Vest was sentenced to 365 days in jail in 2016 for animal cruelty.

At the time of the 2016 arrest, deputies were shocked to see that each of the cat’s paws was individually taped with electrical tape and then its front legs and rear legs were bound together.

Animal Care officials took possession of the cat and contacted a veterinarian to help guide them through the process of snipping the tape that bound the paws.

Oreo, the cat that had its legs taped together, was adopted in February 2016 and placed “in a happy home,” Castaic Animal Shelter Manager Karen Stepp said in March 2016.

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