Updated at the bottom with the kid's age and an explanation from the County about why the photo was distributed.

We're not sure what's worse — that a bat-wielding boy allegedly beat to death three kittens or that the county Department of Animal Care and Control just sent out a photo of said cat corpses (after the jump).

Animal control officials say they were alerted to the beating March 7 after a Wilson High School employee said the student was heard on campus confessing to the attack.

Officers went to his home in the 15900 block of Leander Drive in Hacienda Heights and …

… found three domestic shorthair kittens dead.

Dead Kittens; Credit: L.A. County

Dead Kittens; Credit: L.A. County

The trio was about two weeks old, according to a county statement: They had …

… severe fractures to the skull and head trauma.

Marcia Mayeda, director of Animal Control:

Apparently the boy confessed to a school staff member that he had killed three kittens earlier in the morning by beating them with a baseball bat and disposing of the bodies in the trash at his home.

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The teen, apparently, wasn't arrested. Rather, Animal control is handing its case file to the L.A. County District Attorney so that the office can consider filing charges.

Now, many of you will say fry the alleged little bastard.

But consider for a moment just how sick a kid would have to be to actually do this. That scares us the most.

[Update at 5:03 p.m.]: Evelina Villa, a spokeswoman for Animal control, says the kid is 16. She confirmed that he was not arrested.

When asked why the County distributed the photo, she said:

We want to get the word out about the importance of reporting animal cruelty. We felt that the photo, although it is graphic, will get people's attention.

Animal cruelty is a precursor to human related violence. If caught early we can prevent it. If it's an [animal cruelty] emergency you can call 911.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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