Man is arrested for placing fish hooks in cat food and feeding it to strays
A man in Plymouth, Pennsylvania has turned himself into police for baiting fish hooks with food and feeding it to stray cats, Fox 43 reports.
The investigation began when volunteers with Happy Hearts and Tails Safe Haven Animal Rescue found a stray cat with a fish hook embedded in its mouth. Police say they visited the home of 27-year-old Kenny Rowles last month and he admitted to baiting hooks with meat and dangling them off his back porch for cats to eat.
Authorities at the scene spotted one cat suffering from an embedded hook and at least two other cats with string coming out of their mouths. "There was a string with a hook, and then he put food on it, dangling for the cat and the cat ate it," Dawn Mandygral of Happy Hearts and Tails told WNEP in April. “He deliberately - he was fishing for cats. That’s what he said."
The injured cat, whose name is Tollie, underwent surgery to remove the string and has fortunately recovered. However, the medical treatment did not come cheap. "Take the string out from the stomach, that costs money," said Dr. Inayat Kathio, who treated Tollie. "Drained the abscesses from the cat and give them the treatment. That costs lots of money."
A warrant went out for Rowles' arrest on May 21, and he was booked into jail the next day. The 27-year-old is facing charges of animal cruelty and is currently being held on $100,000 bail.
“The charges we did file against him were torture," Humane Society Police Officer Lisa Devlin told The Citizens Voice. "Torture is prolonged pain and not providing vet care, and the wound was infected. [Tollie] was in pretty bad shape... It was very harmful to the cat, so I’m thankful that the justice system will step in now and we’ll get justice."
Devlin said she went to Rowles' house and informed him about evidence connecting him to the fish hooks. He then admitted to tying pieces of meat to string and a fishing line, then waiting to "feed and play with the cats," she said. Then, upon learning about the cat with a fish hook embedded in his mouth, he started crying, she said.
Happy Hearts and Tails shared a photo of Tollie on Facebook today, announcing that he is happy and healthy in foster care. "He’s so content and peaceful," the rescue group wrote. "[Thank you] to his foster Mommy he couldn’t have a better person loving him. May you be punished to the fullest extent of the law Kenny Rowles for what you did to this precious kitty. You didn’t break his spirit he’s a wonderfully resilient boy."