A Portage man is facing possible charges of animal cruelty for allegedly trapping house cats in his backyard, then killing the cats and throwing the dead animals on a woman's property in rural Portage miles from his home.
Paul Greiner, 73, will be in Columbia County Circuit Court on Tuesday, tentatively charged with felony mistreatment of animals, catnapping, disorderly conduct and harassment, the Sheriff's Office said.
Liz Masterson, who lives in the town of Lewiston, started finding dead cats three weeks ago, eventually finding nine dead cats thrown onto her property.
Masterson spotted a man stopping his vehicle in the road in front of her house on March 26 and throwing a dead cat onto her property, so when she called police that day, she said she knew who it was.
She told WKOW-TV that the actions were "intimidation" and that she had previous contacts with the suspect.
"We learned some residents in Portage were missing some of their domesticated house cats," said Sheriff Dennis Richards. "Detectives from Portage Police and the Sheriff's Office worked a joint investigation into how and why the dead cats were discarded on someone's property."
Greiner was interviewed on Monday, and a search warrant was executed at his house in Portage on Wednesday.
"The investigation revealed he was trapping cats on his own property, near bird feeders," Richards said.