BROOKVILLE — A Brookville man is facing a felony aggravated cruelty to animals charge after allegedly shooting his neighbor’s cat.
Brookville Borough Police filed charges against Francis Ferraro, 74, of Brookville, including aggravated cruelty to animals, causing serious bodily injury or death –third degree felony; cruelty to animals –second degree misdemeanor; and criminal mischief –summary offense.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, the police were contacted on Oct. 3 by the owner of a cat that had gone missing on Sept. 30. He reported to police he had contacted his neighbors, put up posters, and conducted daily walks of the area in an attempt to find the missing cat.
On Oct. 3, the victim was walking when Ferraro contacted him and allegedly told him he had shot the cat on Sept. 30 while it was on his porch, according to the affidavit.
Police spoke with Ferraro, who said he attempted to let his dog outside, when it started barking non-stop. He told police he went to see what the dog was barking at, and found a cat inside of a small room on his porch. He alleged he tried to get the cat out of the room using a broom, and that the cat hissed and scratched at him, though he was never bitten or scratched, nor was his dog.
He reported that after some effort, the cat did run off the porch and he let his dog out. The dog began barking again, and chased something under the porch. Ferraro then attempted to scare the cat out by spraying the porch with his hose, and then spraying the cat directly.
When the cat ran out from under the porch, he observed wet tracks from it leading back into the small room. He again tried to scare the cat out with a broom, and it allegedly hissed and scratched at him again.
At this time, he reportedly went inside his home and got his .22 rifle and shot the cat, killing it, according to the affidavit. He allegedly put the cat in a bag and buried it in the woods. Ferraro said that after a few days he did feel bad and notified the owner about the incident.
He allowed police to photograph his porch, and showed where the cat was shot, which had dried blood on the floor, according to the affidavit.
Ferraro has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 18 with Magisterial District Judge Gregory Bazylak.