Case Snapshot
Case ID: 16556
Classification: Shooting
Animal: cat
More cases in Schuylkill County, PA
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Animal was offleash or loose
Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Prosecutor(s): Andrew J. Serina
Defense(s): Arlen R. Day II, Rick Day
Judge(s): James R. Ferrier, Cyrus Dolbin

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Thursday, Aug 5, 2010

County: Schuylkill

Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

Defendant/Suspect: Patrick Sylvester Canfield

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

A Schuylkill County man has been charged with cruelty to animals after he allegedly shot a domestic cat with a crossbow.

State police at Schuylkill Haven said Patrick D. Canfield, 36, of South Manheim Township, is charged with shooting the cat of Amy L. Fisher, 37, of 1763 Running Deer Drive, South Manheim Township. The incident occurred between 8 and 10 p.m. on Aug. 5, troopers said.

Case Updates

A man who shot a cat with an arrow was sentenced Tuesday in Schuylkill County and his punishment is already catching some by surprise.

A judge ordered Patrick Canfield to serve 150 hours of community service at two Schuylkill County animal shelters just after the man from the Pottsville area pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.

After pleading guilty to shooting a neighbor's cat with a crossbow, a judge sentenced Canfield to six months probation.

He will also have to pay $1,000 veterinary bills for surgery on Oscar the cat to owner Amy Fisher.

"Jail time would have been nice because he pretty much turned our home into a prison. Where I used to feel safe and it was a sanctuary, it's not anymore," Fisher said.

Probation and restitution, but the judge had one more punishment in mind for Canfield. He ordered Canfield perform 75 hours community service at the Hillside SPCA, a move not sitting well with workers and volunteers there.

"It's like letting a pedophile watch a baby. I think that's ridiculous," said Hillside SPCA Assistant Director Trish Moyer. She can't believe a man convicted of animal cruelty could soon be working side by side with people who volunteer their time to help abused animals. "I'm not going to feel comfortable allowing him to be around any of our dogs or any of our cats, so he's not welcome here at the shelter."

"This is clearly not a case of an animal hater shooting a cat," said Canfield's attorney, Rick Day. "He did shoot the cat, he never denied shooting the cat. I've heard people say he denied it, he never denied it from day one. He admitted it at the preliminary hearing. He's willing to stand up for what he did and he just did today."

Meantime, Amy Fisher said just when it appeared Oscar the cat survived the arrow wound he developed cancerous tumors, tumors too close to his spine to operate.

Judge Cyrus Dolbin also ordered Canfield to do 75 hours of community service at the Ruth Steinert Memorial Animal Shelter near Minersville

Workers there also object.

Canfield's lawyer said Tuesday afternoon, once shelter workers get to know Patrick Canfield they won't object to working with him.

But officials at both shelters said they plan to ask Schuylkill County's probation department to request the judge to order Canfield to performs his community service somewhere else.
Source: - Aug 2, 2011
Update posted on Aug 3, 2011 - 12:37AM 
Paul E. Flecha testified Tuesday that he left his South Manheim Township house to go to work on Aug. 6, but was horrified with what he saw had happened to one of his pet cats.

"I noticed Oscar lying on the deck with a crossbow bolt through him," Flecha said during the preliminary hearing for the New Philadelphia man who allegedly shot the bolt. "He was right there outside the door."

Flecha's testimony, along with that of the prosecuting police officer, proved enough to convince Magisterial District Judge James R. Ferrier to order the cruelty to animals charge against Patrick S. Canfield, 37, held for Schuylkill County Court.

"The charge ... has been proven here," Ferrier said at the end of the 40-minute hearing. "He simply went and loaded the crossbow and shot it."

Ferrier allowed Canfield to remain free on $2,500 percentage cash bail pending county court action on the charge.

State police at Schuylkill Haven have charged Canfield with shooting Oscar between 10 and 10:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at 1763 Running Deer Drive, Lake Wynonah. Oscar survived the incident and continues to live with Flecha and his girlfriend, Amy Fisher.

"He did shoot the cat," Trooper Alyssa Becker said about what Canfield admitted to her when he came to the state police station.

Canfield did not deny shooting Oscar, but testified he did so after the cat behaved threateningly toward him and his girlfriend.

"I loaded the crossbow and I shot it," Canfield testified. "It got aggressive toward us, hissing and pawing. I didn't know if it was rabid."

Flecha testified Oscar, who liked to be outside, was in bad shape when Flecha saw him with the bolt in him.

"His breathing was very shallow," Flecha said. "He wasn't too responsive. He was just existing."

He said he took Oscar to Vetcetera near Schuylkill Haven, where veterinary personnel cared all day for the cat and were able to save him.

Canfield testified that Oscar ate his garbage and behaved more like a feral cat than a pet.

"It had shelter underneath our shed," he said.

Arlen R. Day II, Pottsville, Canfield's lawyer, argued that prosecutors had not proven their case.

"Under the statute, it has to be malicious," and Canfield was trying to protect his family and animals, Day said.

Assistant District Attorney A.J. Serina, however, successfully argued that the evidence could justify the charges.

"This is a cat of another," he said. "There's a crossbow bolt found in this animal."

Canfield left court without comment. Fisher and Flecha each liked the result.

"I'm very happy the way it turned out," Fisher said. "It was done out of malice."

"I'm glad that justice is at least headed in the right direction," Flecha said.
Source: Republican Herald - Sept 29, 2010
Update posted on Aug 3, 2011 - 1:54PM 
A man in Schuylkill County has admitted shooting a neighbor's pet cat with a crossbow and now faces trial on animal cruelty charges.

The owners of the cat, Oscar, believe justice was served.

Tracie Lau supports the cat, and carried a sign that read "Justice for Oscar" outside the district magisterial judge's office. "I don't know how you could so something like that and consider yourself a sane and rational person. It's just cruelty extraodinaire," Lau said.

Patrick Canfield told a judge he used a crossbow to shoot the cat after it became aggressive, was urinating in his yard and eating his trash.

"Rage! It really makes me angry and then for him to be so smug about it and try justifying shooting an eight pound cat with a crossbow, to me there is nothing he can say to justify what he did," said Oscar's co-owner Paul Flecha.

"He could have asked that we remove Oscar from their property. If there was a problem all they had to do was ask," said Oscar's co-owner Amy Fisher.

Oscar and his owners had their supporters at the hearing.

"I just feel this was a horrific act and I just think that justice needs to be done," said Marie Riegal of New Ringgold.

The case now goes to Schuylkill County court. If convicted Patrick Canfield can face time in jail and fines.
Source: WNEP - Sept 28, 2010
Update posted on Oct 3, 2010 - 4:01PM 


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