‘Had to Do Something to Help': Stern Family Agrees to Foster Abused Kitten

A man allegedly placed the kitten in a freezer, squeezed her body and threw her off a second story balcony

A kitten who was placed in a freezer, squeezed and thrown off a balcony last month is getting what every kitten needs: a family.

Beth Stern, wife of TV and radio personality Howard Stern, came across the cat’s story online and inquired about fostering her.

Olive was rescued during the early morning hours on Feb. 2 when Fontana police officers responded to an apartment complex in the 9200 block of Olive regarding a kitten being assaulted.

The suspect, identified as 34-year-old Lucio Lopez, left the scene before officers arrived. They later found him driving nearby.

Fontana Police Department
Lucio Lopez (left) is accused of placing a kitten nicknamed Olive (right) in the freezer, squeezing her body and eventually throwing her off a second story balcony at an apartment complex on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

During the investigation, police learned that Lopez became "upset" with the stray kitten for entering his apartment.

Witnesses told police that the man placed the kitten -- believed to be between three to four months old -- in the freezer. Later, he took the cat out of the freezer and "began squeezing its body as the frightened kitten cried out in pain," police said.

Next, Lopez threw the kitten off a second-story balcony at the apartment complex, resulting in major injuries to the cat's chest along with a fractured leg.

Lopez was arrested and booked at the West Valley Detention Center for animal cruelty. He also had an outstanding warrant.

A Fontana man was arrested after placing a kitten in a freezer, squeezing her and throwing her off a second-story balcony. Chuck Henry reports for the NBC4 News at 6 on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

Fontana Animal Services took the kitten to the veterinarian for emergency treatment following the ordeal.

The cat, who was nicknamed Olive by the emergency room staff, required surgery and "much needed love."

When Stern read about Olive she "felt physically ill and knew I had to do something to help." 

Fontana Police Department
A three to four month old kitten nicknamed Olive is recovering following a case of animal cruelty. Police said she will require surgery and "much needed love."

She flew from New York to California to rescue the Tortie on Saturday.

"I am so very grateful to everyone from the City of Fontana who saved Olive's life and was thrilled to meet them when they brought her to me to bring home and foster."

Stern is a volunteer, foster parent and spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization.

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