A Holladay woman is facing child abuse and animal torture charges after she reportedly killed a pet cat — beating it and snapping its neck — in front of her children.
According to court documents, Unified Police were called to the home of Ariane Christine Borg, 38, on Sept. 25, and, when they arrived, her 17-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter were “crying hysterically.” The children reported their mother was “going crazy” and had “beat their cat over and over again and snapped its neck.”
Interviewed later, the daughter told police “her mom 'goes crazy' nearly every night” and that she had seen Borg “hold the cat by the legs and pound it repeatedly on table” and “snap the cat's neck.” The girl said that when she tried to save the cat, Borg “hit [her] on the arm, resulting in a large bruise.”
Officers located a dead cat in the yard and found Borg “covered in blood” from “multiple self-inflicted stab wounds on her abdomen and wrists.” According to police, “the home was in disarray with broken items scattered about and blood throughout the apartment.”
Borg has been charged in 3rd District Court with one count of second-degree felony child abuse; two counts of Class-A misdemeanor child abuse; and torture of a companion animal, a third-degree felony.
According to a statement released by Borg's attorney, Steven Burton, she has “spent most of her life battling with depression, and that after her doctor “adjusted her medications” in July, “her mental health began spiraling downward.”
“In September, the week before she was arrested, the police were called multiple times to assist with her mental health crisis but no meaningful help was provided. Because of the changes in medication and a lack of mental health treatment, Ariane suffered a critical manic episode. She believed that she and her family were being attacked and she injured herself and a beloved family pet while suffering from those delusions.
“Luckily, she did not end her own life, but spent several days in the hospital and multiple weeks being treated for her injuries and illness. Doctors were able to correct her diagnosis and treatment, and since being released in mid-October, she has returned to being the good, kind person that she was before.”
Burton said that, after her arrest, Borg was jailed “without her medications and with very little clothing, and was kept in a holding cell without proper medical care or the ability to contact her doctors or lawyer.”
The statement went on to say “it is disappointing to see that after all we have learned about mental illness, our system still re-victimizes those who are struggling and increases the risk that they will suffer further setbacks. We hope that those who see this story will urge law enforcement, prosecutors, the media, and the legislature to improve the way we treat mental illness so we can help those who are sick before they reach a point of crisis and tragedy.”