Patricia Gaffin

Maricopa County jail

PHOENIX — A Phoenix woman is facing animal cruelty and abuse charges for allegedly killing a kitten by throwing it off a third-floor balcony.

Patricia Gaffin had her initial court appearance Tuesday. She was released with conditions including a prohibition on her coming into contact with any pets.

The 49-year-old Gaffin doesn't have a lawyer yet.

Phoenix police were called to Gaffin's home Sunday morning after neighbors say they saw her throw a kitten off a balcony following an argument with her children.

Court records show Gaffin later told police investigators that she was a "kitten killer."

She told police she killed the pet because it had urinated on the new carpet in her apartment.

Gaffin has a May 12 status conference in her case and a preliminary hearing four days later.