The Utah man who ate a live baby rat (gross!) pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of animal cruelty. The rat, originally intended to be fed to a pet snake, was consumed by the man on a dare. After the video of the event surfaced on Facebook, the video was reported to police by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
"Thirty-one-year-old Andy Ray Harris of Tooele was charged with the misdemeanor in April after authorities viewed the video."
According to PETA's Martin Mersereau, the organization had received several complaints about the video, which shows Harris putting the live baby rat in his mouth, and then chewing and swallowing it. Afterwards he high-fived someone.
Animal cruelty is a class A misdemeanor.
Harris seems to be a bit of a snake himself, so perhaps consuming a rat should come as no surprise. Previously in trouble with the law, police recognized him in the video.
The court hearing Tuesday was brief. Harris' attorney "asked for more time to explore a couple of motions he was considering." There will be a pretrial conference July 19.
Harris was accompanied to the court hearing by his mother, who did not comment to the media.
She must be so proud of her son's accomplishment - eating a live baby rat is not something just any man will do. Seriously, though - hopefully, Harris' mother was embarrassed by her son's actions and that is why she chose not to comment.