Outrage after West Michigan girl posts turtle mutilation on Facebook

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CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. – A graphic video of siblings sawing off the head of a turtle was recently posted to Facebook, sparking controversy.

Catrina Shears, 17, of Cedar Springs recently posted the 43 second video to Facebook. According to her comments, she was helping her brother take the head off a snapping turtle. She said they were in rush and could not find an ax.

WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO: See original Facebook video here

Watching the video, you can see Catrina uses pliers to pull the turtle’s head out from its shell while her brother steps on the turtle. Then for at least 20 seconds, you can see and hear her brother use a hack-saw to slowly decapitate the animal.

According to Catrina’s comments, she seems unaffected, and said they have done this for years, and described how they let the animal’s blood drain for several hours. Then she commented that she “should have taken a video of the blood squirting” from the turtle’s neck.

This sparked a cross-fire on Facebook: Hundreds of comments from across the country protesting this method of killing. Some said they always hunt and kill animals where the death is instant.

Despite many hunters saying an ax or gun should be used before decapitation, others questioned how to kill a snapping turtle, and said “decapitation is the humane way to kill a snapping turtle.”

Multiple people shared the video then contacted the Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR released a statement and said they reviewed the video and spoke with law enforcement.

“We are certainly disappointed anyone would post something like that to social media.

Although the actions depicted in this video are technically legal under state statute—provided that the capture of the turtle was legal—we would advocate a more rapid means of taking the animal’s life. We further hope this turtle was taken for the purpose of human consumption.”

According to Facebook, Catrina will meet with police regarding the threats she faces.

Both the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and Cedar Springs Police Department said they were unaware of this posting and are not handling this case.


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  • Raven

    I’d just like to point out that cruelty to animals and being unaffected by another creature’s pain are signs of a sociopath- the people who are likely to become serial killers, murders, and spree killers.

      • RUkiddingme

        Apples & oranges, Mike. This little b seems to take enjoyment, or at least lacks any empathy, by the slow death. I’m not against hunting, fishing, or trapping at all, and have been doing all three my entire life. But you still need to have respect for life, and not cause unneeded suffering. Anything else are, as Raven mentioned, sociopathic signs.

        • Me

          How about lobster? They take a live lobster and toss it into boiling water…..millions every year….you never once complained…………..hipocrite!

        • Warper

          I agree with most of what you say, and question other areas. I’ve done the same things when I was younger (Without fb and videos), without any compunction. Until I took up photography, and shot a raccoon in the head for merely foraging for sustanence. Mainly because it was in the garbage can in the garage.. But it gave me a different outlook on killing animals. They are trying to survive just like us, only with more of a challenge. I don’t kill anything anymore. But like my coffee mug once said, some people are still alive simply because it’s against the law to kill them.

      • Susanna Marie Gomez

        Good point. Eating meat is OK so long as it’s not a companion animal- those distinctly breed for the sole purpose of serving humans as companions such as dogs and cats or parrots and the like. But one should be better aware of what the meat goes through before one can either criticize others for consuming it (assuming this was done for consumption of the turtle meat) or after a reasonable childhood age to understand and respect what’s on their plate. Also we all need to have the information to decide if we are OK with what we eat and how it’s raised. Questions like is it organic, free range, do I want to be a vegetarian, etc can only be answered on a personal basis, but giving people the information they need to understand the process is absolutely the moral right thing to do. I personally love meat and enjoy it, but I also carry a great deal of respect for the organism itself giving it’s life that I might have good health. It makes me want to eat healthier, waste less, and live better. I can also understand vegetarians, although I don’t agree with them trying to push their beliefs on me. My only motto on that is, what you do on your plate is your business. :)

        • Sarah Dorman

          The animal does not give their life. They are dragged, crying out, to their untimely deaths. According to their typical lifespan, they are but children when they are killed AGAINST their will.

          They do not give. You pay someone to TAKE. If you speak of knowing where your food comes from, then do not hide that truth from yourself.

          No, I do not eat animals or animal products.

          • Jon Krauser

            nobody cares but you sarah. trying to convince people that humans don’t need meat, is doing the human race a disservice. ask any real board certified nutritionist and they will tell you that a vegan diet is unhealthy for any human.

    • Nathan

      The country is in an uproar because she inhumanely killed a turtle for food. however 95% of you support factory farming which inhumanely kills more than 400 million cows, chickens, pigs, and sea life for food. Even though this turtle had a quicker death than half the cows and other animals you eat she is the one on trial, if you don’t like it dont eat meat products. Do not criticize this video but then turn around and eat a burger, it is just as bad if not worse because of the harsh conditions we house animals in, the only thing worse is that the country as a whole supports these harsh conditions and the inhumane slaughtering of animals with a blind eye as long as you can get your inhumane, unnecessary, and unsustainable meal. killing is killing, there is no such thing as humane slaughter.

      • Samantha

        Where did she say sh ate the turtle? The DNR said he hopes they killed it for human consumption but nowhere does it say her and her twisted brother killed it to eat it. These kids need to be mentally evaluated before they behead a family pet or worse, a child.

        • B

          This is my family, we eat turtles, we eat fish, we also hunt deer and eat them too, the only way to kill a turtle is to cut off the head, maybe you should try and live by eating animals that you can easily catch versus buying god knows what in the grocery store.

          • Jackie

            If yo kill the turtle for food, fine. Don’t post it on the Internet….and for God’s sake, don’t act like you enjoy watching it die. To say you should’ve recorded the blood squirting out of the turtle’s neck is seriously messed up and very juvenile. Maybe one day you’ll grow up and gain some respect for ALL life.

      • Farm raised

        Actually slaughter houses have to meet certain regulations in order to run and they are extremely more humane than that video. Less than a second and cows are put down. I used to work in one. And I will happily eat my steak.
        There is no comparison.

      • Blue_Rider

        Blake Rogers I and everyone else knows the horrible things ISIS is doing. That however is NOT the subject of the article or the conversation. This about a sick foolish person posting the torturous death of a turtle and posting it on social media for attention. If you look at it is similar to what ISIS is doing to gain attention and act out against USA but that is neither here nor there. THIS POSTING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NOT EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND YOU ISSUES. Post about the issue in this news article or get a life~!

    • Blue_Rider

      This POS posted this on Facebook so she could get a reaction from animal lovers. She KNEW it would go viral. She was looking for attention. I agree short of becoming a serial killer this psychotic b*tch couldn’t be sicker! She’s twisted and sick and so is the rest of her family!

  • Concerned

    This is an extremely concerning story. I sincerely hope that the children’s parents or loved ones find them psychological help. This behavior is a huge warning sign for some serious future issues for these kids! Their friends should be concerned with getting them help rather than shaming or defending their actions.

    • Sugar

      This piece of crap bf has started messaging and threatening me, I have all the transcripts of the messages he has sent with threats to myself and my family. I also have the transcripts of the conversation his precious gf was having where she made the remark that there was nothing like holding somethings beating heart in your hand while the life drains out of it. I will be sending the transcripts to the county sheriffs office here in MI and also to the Louisiana state police where her boyfriend resides. He made the written threat that he has plenty of money and would be sending someone to “take care”: of myself and other people on the fb page she posted all of this stuff on. Sick individuals the both of them

  • Doug

    Killing a large snapping turtle is a rather tough chore, and yes, most certainly much tougher on the turtle. BUT – it is the video and posting of this type of inhumane crap that worries me…. stupid decision with social media, or did she “enjoy” that slow killing??? Hope they get answers to that question.

  • AnimalLover

    My goodness gracious…if this method of killing is slow, but legal, WHY VIDEOTAPE IT AND POST IT FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO VIEW???? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO PROVE??? KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!!!

    • Paul

      Because this is debatable? There’s nothing much to say about a human being beheaded other than “this is a tragedy, I hope justice is served.” With this, there are people on both sides of the debate. Some saying she did nothing wrong, some saying she’s a psychopath, others saying what she did wasn’t wrong but posting it was. There’s a lot more to discuss here than there is on the loss of a human life :/

    • Jolie Apuzzo

      Humans are the one species that kills more than any other. I personally wish we were all wiped out. So yes, there are people out there that dislike humans. Get rid of us and the earth flourishes.

  • Denise

    I think it’s sick! If the turtle was trying to bite someone? They should of called someone like the DNR or Cops. But these teens have been doing this for! To a large animal like the turtle! I had an experience not too long ago of seeing a very small turtle on the road and I didn’t have enough time to know if I ran over it? I turned around and picked it up and I did run over it and I did throw it in the pond that was on the side of the road. I was sadden that I did it… But this type of killing is very sicken and I hope that the teens are given some strong type of discipline for what they have done. What type of other animals have they been doing this too other then turtles? Where was the turtle from? Why have they been doing this?? For fun?? If they enjoy it so much? I hope they just get know community service or a slap on the wrist for this…..

    • Kristin

      A lot of people dislike snapping turtles in their ponds, so rather than risk injury by relocating them, they kill them instead. They *can* be a threat to ducks and geese, and possibly pets, but for the most part, they avoid trouble and I personally leave them be in my pond. However, as I said, some don’t want them there. I would imagine that’s what she meant by they’d been doing that for years, and if it was done humanely, there’s nothing wrong with it. The issue is they seemed to have no problems with putting this animal slowly through excruciating pain.

  • Michelle

    Ok I am a hunter and to see this screwed up shit pisses me off. You gotta be messed up to torture an animal like this AND take a video! Seriously, what purpose was there to take a video other than enjoyment? Just sickening. I hope this girl & everyone involved gets help.

  • Lunch

    Regulations for Frogs, Toads, Salamanders, Turtles, Lizards and Snakes
    An all-species fishing license is required to take amphibians and reptiles for personal use. Reptiles and amphibians may not be bought, sold, or offered for sale.
    Amphibians and reptiles MAY NOT be shot with firearms (including spring, air, or gas propelled), bow and arrow, or crossbow. season -July 15-Sept 15 13″ minimum
    carapace length For taking turtles, no more than 3 traps may be used, mesh traps must be no less than 1″ mesh, and traps must be set to allow turtles to surface and breathe.
    It is illegal to possess or transport in the field, dressed or processed reptiles or amphibians that cannot be measured or identified. how to kill them doesn’t specify … a butter knife could have been used . so a fine if they didn’t have a license ,or the turtle was to small . now how about some of that turtle soup!

  • George

    She’s sick in the head, a budding psychopath.
    All the mass murders started off killing helpless critter and worked their way up, she’s defective.
    Arrest her for animal crudity.

  • Blake Rogers

    I haven’t seen the video, but from the comments, I assume they appeared to be enjoying what they were doing (thanks Michelle, I’ll take your word on it). Now for the rest of you idiots talking smack with two-cent opinions, take a good long look in the mirror, or tell me here, one by one, which of you slack-jaws is cool with abortion huh? Like cats? I saw a damn video of rich fishermen using kitties as bait? Why don’t you go support that cause or get an Amazon book on at home neutering, get off your lazy, fat, good for nothing internet educated shortsighted ass and fly down to where this goes on and give them your opinion there—or is your courage limited to the comment box of an Internet news source? Courage–and don’t bother coming at me with that one either, my email is for spam and my (annotated name) is for my privacy, but I can tell you, I’ve done my part wiping Islamic cockroaches off the planet and I’d gladly continue if I hadn’t already served 20+ years. Now open your weed smoked eyes and look at the real world out there people, Islamotards are cutting the heads of of HUMAN little girls that happen to be Christians, so pull your panties out of a wad, put on your big girl pants and pick a better outrage–its a dirty, deadly, messed up world out there and you bunch of toolsheds need to pick up the clue bucket.

    • Blue_Rider

      You are being an idiot Blake Rogers. This article or conversation has NOTHING to do with anything else but some sick b *tch getting off on slowly and agonizingly killing a turtle. So what if YOU think it’s not a big deal. OTHER PEOPLE DO think it’s a big deal. If you want to get into sh*t about the middle east then look for news about that. Other than that stfu~!

  • turtle guy

    I understand taking an animal for food, but when you go to kill it do it fast and painless. This was just nasty! The excuse of we could not find an axe is the weakest excuse I have heard in a long time. Simply put the turtle in an enclosed area until you can find an axe or a gun to do it quickly.

  • AngelLOVESAnimals

    so sad): that turtle was just living his life…. I definitely think this was cruel. Can you imagine being that turtle when that was happening? Poor turtle.

  • Jojo

    … and this is our future. Debate, defend, discuss… BUT the bottom line is, these pieces of sh– will statistically burden society for years to come. That is a statistic. Period. Smh.

  • BK Mart

    Snapping turtles live in some of the foul and stagnant bodies of water around. Anyone who would kill and eat a snapping turtle would eat a turd…

  • Nikki Wegrzyn

    THIS IS SERIOUSLY A BIG RED FLAG- Anyone with a properly functioning brain knows this isn’t right! Take a look:
    •Studies show that acts of cruelty toward animals are the first signs of violent pathology that includes human victims.

    •Animal abuse is not just the result of a minor personality flaw in the abuser, but a symptom of a deep mental disturbance.

    •The FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers.

    • Blue_Rider

      I agree with you Niki. It’s scary as hell that this and so many other acts like this are being posted freely on the internet. And they are being posted more often these days. In abuse cases it’s boundaries of violence that get crossed and then things escalate until worse acts of violence occur until the victim or victims are seriously harmed or even killed. The same thing is happening on the internet with acts of violence becoming more tolerated. It has to stop.

  • ishkabibbul

    So sad you both take enjoyment from torturing and killing a helpless innocent animal -the poor thing would have died in agony -you have lost your humanity -I hope you both are never ever allowed to forget what you have done to this poor little animal-KARMA.

  • kurt

    Where were the Parents? The bigger problem here is how these kids were raised thinking that this type of behavior is ok. I wonder if they got the Idea from ISIS. I also, want to add that this was the wrong way to kill an animal for food and post it for fun. I urge all of you who have never visited a factory farm, such as the ones located in your area and you will see animal cruelty. Try a max production slaughterhouse.

  • EMA

    Her father should be castrated and her mother sterilized for producing psychopathic inbred children! The DNR you are a pathetic excuse of the law for condoning this type of behavior!! Maybe someone (who’s as psychotic as you are Catrina Shears) should come to your home and video someone sawing off very slowly your fingers & your brothers for all the animals you tortured, especially that poor innocent turtle. How does that sound??? Maybe the DNR will say it’s legal, because you both are a threatening species. I live in Michigan myself, If I’m in the area I would like to pay you all a friendly visit :)

  • kelsey

    OK don’t we think that we are being a bit unrealistic? Its a turtle! There are kids getting beaten to death by there parents, but this poor girl is getting attacked because she helped saw off the head of a full grown turtle? We realize that its an animal its life is not more important than the three year old little boy who was beaten to death. They are not sociopaths because of this, but your reactions to the death of an animal in humane or not make you one. People first! You can’t replace them!!

  • Jon Krauser

    is anyone here making any of these comments even old enough to shave? All I hear is a bunch of schoolground ratchet jawing…..try this, if you don’t like videos like this….DON’T CLICK ON THEM.