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Sunday, Jan 1, 2012County: Saint Louis
Charges: Felony CTA
Alleged: Avry Harris
A St. Louis County man was booked Thursday on a charge of animal abuse after authorities say he cut off his pet cat's paw.
Avry Harris, 33, of the 1800 block of Night Drive in unincorporated north St. Louis County, was charged April 23 with one felony count of animal abuse.
The Missouri Humane Society, which investigated the case, said Harris' 4-year-old cat, Tigger, had an injured paw. Harris sawed off the injured paw some time between May 2011 and January of this year, according to court documents.
Jeane Jae, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis, said investigators went to Harris' home after receiving an anonymous tip in January to the society's abuse hotline.
Avry relinquished Tigger and two other pet cats to the humane society for treatment. Tigger survived his paw injuries but was later euthanized, along with the two other cats living in Harris' home, because they all were suffering from feline immunodeficiency virus, a contagious, feline version of HIV.
Jae said the cats were euthanized because the disease is contagious and would have posed health risks to the shelter's cat population.
"You would have to have a total quarantine," she said. The cats, she said "had already suffered a lot."
Jae said it was not clear exactly when the cat's paw was sawed off.
Harris turned himself in to authorities Thursday. He was booked and was released on his own recognizance, authorities say.
Neither Harris nor his lawyer, Ken Blumenthal, could immediately be reached for comment Friday.
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