Four teenagers between the ages of 13 and 15 have been charged in a case of animal abuse southeast of Edmonton.

Police in Camrose said a home was broken into twice while the owners were away on a Christmas vacation.

They say that in the second instance, a cat was killed when it was allegedly placed in a microwave.

A friend who was checking up on the house on Dec. 30 found the dead cat in the microwave.

"Obviously it's very disturbing," said Camrose police Insp, Lee Foreman. "We're used to dealing with property crime but when you go and do something like this it's upsetting."

Some people in Camrose said they were shocked to hear of the town's newest case of animal cruelty.

"That's just senseless and stupid," resident Will Voth said. "I get a little disturbed when I hear of things like that going on."

"Hopefully they'll deal with them appropriately," pet owner Kim McNalley said. "I don't know what the appropriate punishment should be, but something has to be done for sure."

After an investigation, Camrose police arrested three 15-year-old boys and a 13-year-old boy, Foreman said.

The teens are facing charges of unlawfully killing an animal; unlawfully causing pain or suffering to an animal; break, enter and theft; mischief; and possession of stolen property.

The suspects will appear in court next month to face a variety of charges.