A man from Pennsylvania has been arrested after putting fishing hooks in food which he then fed to stray cats.
27-year-old Kenny Rowles, of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, has admitted to putting meat on a fishing line which he then dangled from his back porch to bait the cats.
Rowles is now facing charges which include aggravated cruelty to animals involving torture and serious bodily injury.
As reported by the Times Leader, Humane officers were first contacted by Whiskers World Cat Rescue on April 8 to investigate boasts made by Rowles to his neighbours about baiting cats using fish hooks.
As stated in a criminal complaint, Rowles admitted to using meat scraps on a fish hook tied to a string which he hung from his back porch to feed and play with stray cats.
Humane officer Lisa Devlin told the Times Leader how a cat by the name of Tollie had been discovered with a fish hook in her throat and string dangling from her mouth. Other stray cats at a vacant building close to Rowles’ home were found uninjured.
Tollie has since undergone surgery and has thankfully survived the ordeal, but she has been left with visible scarring. Tollie is reportedly now in foster care where she is doing well.
Rowles cried before welfare officers after they told him they had found a cat with a fish hook embedded in its mouth.
As reported by Times Leader Rowles surrendered to officers on two felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, two misdemeanor counts of neglect of animals and cruelty to animals and a summary count of animal cruelty.
Rowles was reportedly heckled by campaign workers stood outside the Nanticoke Municipal Building where he was arraigned by District Judge Donald Whittaker. He was also observed sobbing while being escorted by borough police from the district courtroom
Devlin has since made the following statement, as reported by Times Leader:
The charges are very serious, it was very harmful to the cat,
I’m thankful that the justice system will step in now and get justice for Tollie.
The intent was a little bit concerning. Neglect is one thing but the intent to intentionally harm and knowingly, just like the law says, it’s concerning.
Rowles is jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility where he has been unable to post the $100,000 bail set by Judge Whittaker.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.