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GODFREY, IL (KTVI) – A kitten-killing grandmother is behind bars in Madison County. Investigators say the Godfrey woman killed her granddaughter’s cat and four kittens with a hammer, to teach her grand kids a lesson. The animal abuse was discovered at the family’s home on the 5000-block of West Victor Drive.

On Monday evening, the 13 year-old granddaughter opened the freezer, looking for a snack, and made a nauseating discovery.  There was her beloved cat, dead inside the freezer.  The girl texted a relative, who called police.

Madison County investigators arrived, and asked the girl what happened. Her grandma immediately piped in.  Seventy-one year-old Josephine Bell said she killed the cat, and its four kittens, all because the kids wouldn’t clean their rooms.

The 71 year-old is now charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty, and could face 1 to 3 years in prison.

Captain Mike Dixon with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department says, “Without a substantial criminal history, she likely could be looking at probation and fines for this case. But hopefully it brings about a change in demeanor, and this kind of behavior doesn’t happen again for the benefit of these children, is what ultimately I think most of us would hope for.”

Bell stated she killed the cats on Sunday, and threw the kittens in the garbage.  They were never located by investigators.

It seems the well-being of the family pets was in question even before this cat-killing.  Last week, investigators say Animal Control took a dog from the home, and offered to take the other animals as well, but the family refused.?