Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19480
Classification: Hanging, Shooting
Animal: cat, bird (wildlife)
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Sunday, Mar 11, 2012

County: Franklin

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Officials are looking for someone who apparently hung a cat by its neck and shot the animal to death in a Guilford Township field.

Humane Police Officer Floyd "Buck" Hessler of Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter said a investigator with Pennsylvania State Police, Chambersburg, called him about 4 p.m. Sunday. A neighbor reported finding the dead cat along with various shot-up items while hiking in the area.

The improvised shooting gallery was discovered along the tree line at the edge of a farmer's field, behind a ball field on property owned by Unity in Christ Church off South Edwards Avenue. Hessler said a Compaq laptop computer, a galvanized steel bucket and several rusty propane tanks were also found with bullet holes in them.

A 3- or 4-year-old black domestic short hair cat was found dead under a tree with a red and black nylon rope tied tightly around its neck, Hessler said. The other half of the same rope was tied to a tree limb above the cat and several bullet holes were found in the tree trunk.

It appears the animal died of a single gunshot that pierced its back and exited from its stomach area, then the rope was cut, Hessler said. Based on shell casings collected at the scene, he believes the cat was shot with a .22 caliber short round.

Based on the nature of the cat's injuries, Hessler believes that the cat suffered before it died. He thinks the animal was shot sometime between Saturday and Sunday.

"This really upsets me that people are treating animals like this," Hessler said. "As if it's not enough just the general neglect and cruelty that I see, let alone subjecting them to shooting and making them suffer."

Several 16 gauge shotgun shells and broken beer bottles were also found at the scene. Hessler said there was a dead bird that had apparently been shot out of the sky.

Hessler said the cat's death constitutes animal torture, which is a first-degree misdemeanor offense in accordance with state law. A person convicted of the crime could potentially face jail time and thousands of dollars in fines, he said.

He and Pennsylvania State Police remain involved in the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter at 717-263-5791.

If you have information on this case, please contact:
Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter
717-263-5791

References

« PA State Animal Cruelty Map
« More cases in Franklin County, PA

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