EXCLUSIVE: Video Shows Cat Being Slammed Against Wall At Miami-Area PetSmart

A Broward animal welfare organization is under fire after shocking video of one of its volunteers being rough with a cat emerged.

In the video, a unidentified volunteer for Cat Crusade is seen using a broom to forcefully push “Mocha”, a cat, against a wall divider.

The volunteer uses profanity and becomes visibly angry while shoving the broom at the cat.

“Get the fuck out!,” the woman says on video. “Go! Go! Come on! Move! Out! Out! Out Mocha!”

The video was taken by Nadia Sazonova yesterday at a Hollywood PetSmart.

She then sent it to RISE NEWS.

In a phone interview, Sazonova said that the incident occurred at the cat adoption section of the PetSmart.

She said that there were a number of cats in that area at the time of the incident.

She was at the store to pick up a leash for her dog when her attention was drawn to the cat adoption section.

“When I was passing by she was cursing,” Sazonova said. “When I came closer, I saw she had a broom and was hitting the cat, so I started to record.”

“Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of pets in our care,” PetSmart said in a statement to RISE NEWS. “As soon as we were alerted to to the incident with Mocha, we took immediate action to ensure that Mocha was unharmed. Additionally, the volunteer of our partner organization, Cat Crusaders, that committed the act was immediately removed from the store and will not be allowed to return.”

A PetSmart spokesperson told RISE NEWS that the pet chain works with over 4,000 different animal welfare organizations across the country, and even supplies space for their operations in its stores.

However, the spokesperson said that it is up to the individual partner animal welfare organizations to vet the volunteers who work out of space at PetSmart.

“It’s a unfornature incident that occurred with a volunteer,” the spokesperson said.

But for Sazonova, that response isn’t enough.

“I would like this woman not to work with pets anymore or for her to be charged with animal cruelty,” Sazonova said.

According to its website, Cat Crusade provides care for 50-80 stray cays per month in Broward County.

PetSmart said that they brought Mocha the cat to a veterinarian immediately after learning of the incident and that the cat is doing fine.

Cat Crusaders did not immediately  respond to requests for comment. We will update this story if they do.

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Fort Lauderdale Pizza Hut Won’t Deliver Pizzas To Black Neighborhood At Night

What’s New With This Story: 

-A Fort Lauderdale Pizza Hut has a policy to not deliver pizzas to the Sistrunk Boulevard community after 7 PM. 

-Sistrunk Boulevard has historically been an African-American community. 

– A Pizza Hut manager told the Miami New Times that it was a “corporate policy.”  

Ordering pizza while black isn’t easy in one area of South Florida.

At a Fort Lauderdale Pizza Hut located at 1239 S. Federal Hwy, there is a policy to not deliver to a predominantly African-American part of the city after 7 PM.

The discovery was made by locally based journalist Adam Weinstein while he was standing inside the restaurant picking up a pizza.

Weinstein, who is the senior editor of the popular Task&Purpose website snapped two photos of a large notice next to a map of their delivery area declaring “we don’t deliver to northwest (D-4) after 7PM.”

The notice, which refers to Fort Lauderdale’s Sistrunk Boulevard community, was clearly visible to customers.

The Miami New Times called the Pizza Hut and asked a manager for an expiation for the policy.

Photo Credit: Adam Weinstein/ Twitter

The manager said that it was a “corporate policy.”

As the Miami New Times points out, Pizza Hut has a history of not delivering to black neighborhoods in Florida.

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to [email protected].


Cover Photo: Adam Weinstein/ Twitter

Broward School Board Candidate Posts Video Of Moldy Classrooms And Wet Floors At Hallandale Beach Elementary School

What’s New With This Story: 

-Broward County School Board candidate Elijah Manley posted a video to his campaign Facebook page which purports to show mold and severe water damage inside multiple Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach classrooms. 

-Manley claims that the video was taken by a Gulfstream Academy teacher on November 21, 2017. 

-The teacher did not want to be publicly identified for fear of retaliation. 

-Broward County Public Schools have been in the headlines in recent months due to allegations of widespread mold problems at various county schools. 


Elijah Manley, an 18 year old candidate for Broward County School Board made waves on social media today after he published a video that he said was taken by a teacher at Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach.

The video shows a woman going from room to room narrating issues she finds along the way.

Some of the things seen in the video?

A broken window, wet floors, wet electrical boxes and water stains on roof tiles.

The woman in the video also says that she smells mold and thinks that mold in growing under the wet floors.

Manley said that the video was taken on November 21 by a teacher at the school. He then said that the teacher posted the video to a group chat that Manley is part of, on Sunday.

Manley then posted the video to Facebook.

He said that he spoke to the teacher who recorded the video today but said that she did not want to go publicly on the record.

Manley, who is running for an at-large seat on the School Board said he posted the video because he wanted to draw attention to the problem.

“A lot of the other candidates aren’t talking about it at all,” Manley said. “Now, they can’t deny it.”

Broward County schools have been the subject of recent international headlines after allegations of widespread mold issues caused hundreds to get sick.

In a statement, Broward County Schools said that the video shows a part of the school that is not used to educate children and that it is several weeks old.

Here is the full statement:

“Broward County Public Schools takes all matters concerning the upkeep, maintenance and repair of school facilities seriously, and is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of students and staff. Per the District’s Facilities & Construction Management Department, the video does not reflect repair and restoration work that has already been completed – with many of the images taken prior to the now completed work. Furthermore, the video includes images from some areas that are currently unoccupied (not being used by students or staff) due to ongoing repair work. The building has also undergone roof restoration work within the last 60 days. Additional interior and exterior restoration and repair work is ongoing and scheduled for completion by the end of the upcoming winter break. Once again, the District is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all students and staff.”

RISE NEWS has reached out to a spokesperson for the Broward County Teacher’s Association but we could not get an official statement before the time of publication. The principal of Gulfstream Academy could not be reached before publication time.

We will update this story as it develops.

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to [email protected].

Watch More: Did this South Florida Entrepreneur Just Invent The Next Tofu?


South Florida Is About To Get Medieval AF


Camelot Days Renaissance Festival

Dates: November 18th and 19th from 10 AM- 5:30 PM.

Location: T.Y. Park, 3300 N Park Rd, Hollywood, FL 33021

Cost: $15 per adult, $3 for kids between 6 and 12, free for kids under 6. 

Camelot Days is back to Hollywood’s T.Y. Park this weekend for two days worth of medieval revelry and family fun.

RISE NEWS visited the festival to find out what gets the scores of performers to party like it’s 1299:

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to [email protected].

Hallandale Beach Mayor Appears To Be “On Something” During Commission Meeting, According To Commissioner

Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper slurred her words and rambled on for long stretches of time in an incoherent fashion during last night’s commission meeting.

Commissioner Michele Lazarow eventually called Cooper out for her actions.

“You’re an embarrassment mayor,” Lazarow said. “You don’t know where to put a period.”

Lazarow later told a Local 10 reporter that she thought Cooper was “on something” and that she may inform Gov Rick Scott of the incident.


Under Florida law, the governor has the power to suspend local government officials.

Cooper told Local 10 that she wasn’t on drugs or intoxicated. She claims that her actions were due to her feeling sick after a trip to Mexico.

Read More: INSIDE: The Shocking Conditions That Condemned The Miami Shores Motel

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to [email protected].

Watch: Senator Tried To Use Connection To FPL Lobbyist To Get Power On For Her Family Post Irma 

This “Funny Map” Of Broward County Is Hilarious

Broward. Ah Broward. If you grew up there, then you know what we’re talking about. Basically Miami, but not quite.

Oh course, the people from Miami understand how different Broward really is.

So we had a few Miami (and Broward) kids come up with their best mental picture of what Broward is to them and here is what they came up with. (Things get a little more murky, the farther north you go):


Does this map ring true? What would you add to it? Let us know in the comments below:

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Broward County Just Decriminalized Small Amounts Of Marijuana

Change is coming to the drug laws in one of Florida’s biggest counties.

The Broward County Commission just voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

Police officers now have the option to give out a ticket instead of arresting people that are stopped with a marijuana possession charge. First offense would carry a $100 fine, second offense would carry a $250 fine and a third offense would mean a $500 fine and a mandatory assessment of the lifestyle of the offender. There is a three citation max.

More to come. Stay with Rise News. 

Cover Photo Credit: Martin Alonso/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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