Police in Windsor, Ont., have arrested a 17-year-old boy in connection with the torture and stabbing death of a cat.

Family members identified the teen after reading media reports about the cat, and went with him to police headquarters late Sunday, said Staff Sgt. Michael Langlois.

The attack shocked animal welfare officers, who described the act as "vicious."

Cat was family pet

They were called to Atkinson Park in Windsor's west end Jan. 15 after a resident witnessed two young men kicking and stabbing a garbage bag before throwing it over a swimming pool fence around 4 a.m.

When the animal welfare officers inspected the bag they found the brutalized body of a three- to four-year-old female calico cat.

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Nancy McCabe, field operations manager for the Windsor-Essex Humane Society, shows the area of Atkinson Park where officers found a cat stabbed to death on Jan. 15. ((Pat Jeflyn/CBC))

It had four broken ribs and multiple stab wounds, all inflicted before it drowned in its own blood, said officials from the Windsor-Essex Humane Society.

The cat had been declawed and spayed, leading the humane society to believe the cat had at one time been a house pet.

Police said the 17-year-old knew the cat. It was a stray his family had recently adopted and named Cleo.

The family has since handed over two healthy cats to the humane society. 

The teen is expected to be arraigned Monday morning on two criminal charges: wilfully causing the unnecessary suffering of an animal and wilfully killing an animal.