In a case of first impression, New York’s Appellate Division, 1st Department, has upheld the felony aggravated-cruelty-to-animals conviction of a man who, in the midst of a violent attack on his girlfriend and her family, turned to her 9-year-old son, and said, “You want to see something awesome?” and then purposefully crushed a pet goldfish underneath his foot.

The decision turned largely on whether a goldfish may be considered a domesticated, “companion animal.”