Punxsy Man Faces Jury Trial in Cat’s Death

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – A Punxsutawney man facing a cruelty to animals charge after he allegedly broke a cat’s neck, killing it, has been sent to the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas.

According to court documents, 46-year-old Anthony Edward Smith, of Punxsutawney, waived a preliminary hearing last month in front of District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock.

He faces a second-degree misdemeanor charge of Cruelty to Animals in a jury trial in July.

The date for a jury selection has been set for 9:00 a.m. on July 9 with President Judge John H. Foradora presiding.

He is currently free on $10,000.00 unsecured bail.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, on Friday, January 12, Officer Miller, of the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department, was contacted by Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging regarding a domesticated cat being strangled and its neck being broken at a residence on South Walnut Street in Punxsutawney.

The representative from Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging reported that after completing a home visit with a client at a residence on Walnut Street, the client admitted that a male, known as Tony Smith (Anthony Smith), suffocated her cat and broke its neck. The representative reported that the client told her that she could not afford to take the cat to the veterinarian and that it was thrown in the garbage.

It was learned through a health care worker that the resident’s cat was sick. She stated that she became concerned about the cat and had observed it vomiting and sneezing and its eyes seeping fluid. The worker reported that she informed the resident that she needed to take the cat to a vet for treatment. The worker reported that the resident told her that she did not have the money to do so, the complaint states.

The worker reported that as time went by she observed the cat’s condition continue to decline with blood seeping from the cat’s nose and its eyes completely swelled shut. The resident told the worker that the cat had a cold and just needed to change foods. The worker stated that she pleaded with the resident to seek medical care for the cat and that the cat’s condition was beyond a dietary issue. The resident again told her that she could not afford to take the cat to the vet. The worker informed the resident that she was going to report the cat’s condition due to health concerns, according to the complaint.

On her next home health visit to the residence, the worker observed the resident crying. The resident informed her that Tony Smith put the cat on his lap, and the cat was strong enough to fight, but Smith broke its neck. The worker reported that she asked the resident what Smith did with the animal, and the resident responded that she did not know. The worker reported that she later discovered the cat laying in the bottom of the trash can outside, the complaint states.

The woman provided authorities with a written statement that her cat named “Baby” was sick, and that she did not have any money to take the cat to the vet. She reported that she had Smith put the cat down and was going to bury the cat; however, the weather was not conducive to doing so. She reported that Smith put the cat down by breaking her neck, according to the complaint.

Smith was interviewed by authorities, and he agreed to provide a written statement and acknowledged that he strangled the cat to put it down. One of the officers took photographs of the cat located in the trash can outside of the residence.

On Saturday, January 13, Officer Miller responded back to the residence to pick up Smith’s voluntary written statement. Smith reported that he was called on the phone by the female resident of South Walnut Street indicating that her bath nurse was going to turn her in because her cat was sick. Smith stated that he agreed, against his better judgment, to put the cat down because neither of them could afford to take it to the vet and have it put down properly.

Smith stated that “he broke the cat’s neck ‘in a humane way,’ so the cat would not suffer anymore. Smith also stated that he is not proud of what he did, but he did not want the cat to continue to suffer,” according to the complaint.

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