A pair of 15-year-old girls from South Portland were summonsed for cruelty to animals earlier this week after putting a cat in a microwave oven.

According to a police department press release, authorities first got wind of the incident on Friday, Sept. 6, when calls began coming in from people who had seen a video of the girls putting the cat in the microwave. The video, purportedly shot the previous day, “prompted a widespread response in social media circles, strongly condemning these actions,” said South Portland Police Department spokesman Lt. Frank Clark.

Clark said the microwave was turned on for an undetermined amount of time but that the cat survived.

Tipsters apparently recognized the girls as students from South Portland and by Monday the girls were identified and issued summonses. Their names and other identifying information are being withheld due to their age, said Clark.

“The matter remains under investigation, and the case will be referred to the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office for review,” wrote Clark on Monday, adding that the cat “is not displaying any ill effects at this time.”

However, the cat’s owners did agree to turn it over to South Portland’s Animal Control Officer, who will seek a veterinary evaluation, along with “appropriate disposition.”

“The department wants the public to know that the matter is being addressed and referred to the juvenile justice system for appropriate formal charges,” wrote Clark. “We want to say thank you to those who reported this matter and would ask for the public’s patience in letting the system do its job.”

Clark said a number of people have come forward with offers to adopt the cat.

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