Daniel T Smith, forty-four, admitted to women who were caring for a colony of cats that he had killed six or eight of the eleven cats that they were caring for and promised that he would kill the rest.
Despite that admission, he denied poisoning cats with mothballs when confronted by the police but eventually pleaded guilty when charged with 6 counts of animal cruelty after he poisoned three cats.
He poisoned them because he said they were a nuisance on the sidewalk. The cats were being cared for by two women volunteers, Cindy and her daughter. They were semi-feral and almost domesticated. They noticed that Smith had put two dead cats into their trash cans and then got back into his car and drove away. They called the police.
The feral cat colony numbered eleven at one time but there were only three left. It would seem that Smith has poisoned eight as he had stated to the women.
When questioned he said that he had done nothing wrong and that it is not illegal to put mothballs down in your backyard. We also told police that the cats had no rights because they weren’t owned by anyone and lastly that the police couldn’t prove that he had killed them.
As mentioned, eventually he admitted that he was guilty presumably under questioning. He is charged with first-degree misdemeanours and therefore he could be jailed for a maximum of five years. Apparently he also has unrelated convictions which presumably go towards the sentencing. He will be sentenced on December 7.
This story was originally posted on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and then reported subsequently on the Daily Mail website.
Many years ago, Eliza reported on the mothball poisoning of a number of the cat that she was caring for at the time. People should be very cognizant and aware of the dangers of mothballs. They contain a chemical, napthalene, which is highly toxic to cats and indeed is toxic to people as well.