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Lab confirms: cats poisoned

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Officials say charges could come soon for the ‘very deliberate’ act of dousing pet food with antifreeze

By Tracy Harris

The director of Oldham County Animal Control believes charges will come soon for the poisoning of at least six cats last month.

Two cats, part of a managed cat colony at the Anchor Avenue Apartments, were found dead Oct. 13. Another cat died after capture and three more were euthanized after showing signs of poisoning and suffering.

The colony is one of several in the county and is a way to reduce strain on the county’s animal shelter without having to euthanize animals. Animal control officials sterilize and vaccinate the animals before releasing them.

An autopsy of two cats confirmed they died from ingesting antifreeze, and their stomach contents were compared to the pan of food found at the scene.

The food was “shiny and shimmery with antifreeze,” said Barbara Rosenman, animal control director.

Police also attempted to test the pan for fingerprints but none were found. Rosenman said the lack of fingerprints indicates the act was “very deliberate and pre-planned,” and believes the suspect either wore gloves or wiped down the pan.

Animal control officials are working with La Grange Police, and Rosenman said there is a person of interest. Additional evidence is being collected and the two agencies are working with the county attorney to determine what charges will be filed.

In addition to being illegal, Rosenman said the poisoning was immoral. 

“Poisoning is indiscriminate,” Rosenman said. “Anything that ingested this would’ve suffered a terrible death.”

She said mice, birds and other animals could have been harmed. 

The person who poisoned the food also risked killing neighbors’ pets, she said.

“Poison is a slow killer,” Rosenman said. “It’s a tortuous death.”

Cats released by the OCAC into the colony have blunted ears for identification. 

All of the poisoned cats had that marker, Rosenman said.

On Friday, the Humane Society of the United States announced a $2,500 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible. 

The Humane Society of Oldham County has also offered a $500 reward.

Anyone with information is asked to call animal control at 222-7387.