After PETA was alerted to violent “crush videos” showing puppies, kittens, rabbits, mice, and other animals who were tortured and then slowly killed, Cruelty Investigations Department staffers worked around the clock to find the perpetrators. With the help of the Animal Beta Project, PETA determined that the videos’ producers lived in Houston, Texas, and rushed the evidence to local authorities. Two days later, the Houston Police Department arrested two suspects on felony warrants in connection with these gruesome acts.

Brent Justice and Ashley Richards now face felony cruelty-to-animals charges. As the Houston Chronicle reported, a “judge halted the reading of court documents during a hearing last week because the details were too graphic.”

In one video, Richards is shown cutting the leg and slashing the neck and throat of a puppy before beheading the struggling animal with a meat cleaver. Richards also faces charges related to the torture and killing of a cat in a 2010 video.

As this case shows, for animals in danger, one phone call or e-mail can the make the difference between life and (perhaps a horrible) death. Please, if you witness or hear about cruelty to animals, never be silent.