Categories: Cat News

Bench warrant issued for Pennsylvania woman after she failed to appear in court. She’s accused of abandoning 21 cats who starved to death.

A Pennsylvania woman with no fixed address is wanted on felony animal cruelty charges after 21 cats in carriers and bins who starved to death in Winfield Township were found. A bench warrant was issued after she failed to appear in court. Read the orginal story by clicking this link.

County humane officer Janice Lawniczak prepares to complete the forensic work (Lawniczak)

Butler County Humane Officer Janice Lawniczak volunteer says Tamara Rusz of Mars and her boyfriend, Kevin Delehanty of Cranberry Township left the animals to die on property belonging to her mother, Marilyn King, on Bear Creek Road. Many skeletal remains were discovered in carriers, bins and garbage bags.

Instead of taking the cats to a shelter or humane society, Rusz took the cats deep into the woods where they wouldn’t be found in time to save them. According to a report by Butler Eagle the cats were placed in a pile and left to die. Michael did an article on the case in mid-June.

Cats died in their locked carriers in woods

“It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done.”

District Judge Sue Haggerty has issued a bench warrant for Rusz, whose only known address is a post office box in Mars. Anyone who knows a physical address for Tamara Rusz or sees her is asked to call 911.

Unfortunately, the case with 21 counts of felony animal cruelty isn’t the first one involving Tamara and her boyfriend. According to a report by 977Rocks a case involving the same circumstances took place in November 2018.

“Lawniczak was called to wooded property- off Bear Creek Road in Winfield Township- last November. There, she allegedly found three abandoned cat carriers with two cats in each carrier. Five cats were deceased, including one cat that was mauled to death. The sixth cat had managed to escape and was later captured and taken to the Butler County Humane Society. Delehanty allegedly later admitted that he and Rusz willingly took all six cats behind their property and abandoned them while they were still alive.”

From what I’ve managed to piece together, Tamara Rusz missed her court appearance in mid-June, thus leading to the bench warrant being issued. Kevin Delehanty appeared in court and is being held. From what I’ve been told, the case has been referred to a ‘higher court.’

The population for Mars, Pennsylvania was 1,637 in 2017. If Tamara is hiding out there she should be easy to find. Sorry, no photos are available.

This has been a difficult story to gather because we’re dealing with two different cases of animal abandonment. If anyone out there has additional information, please post it in the comments.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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