The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 13, 2012

Cat killer traumatizes West Buffalo family

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

MIFFLINBURG — In what a veterinarian described as “the worst case of animal cruelty I have ever seen,” a Mifflinburg area man lamented the loss of his son’s beloved 4-year-old cat, Junebug, and the depraved manner in which she was killed over the weekend.

Eric Wagner said he and his family were outside their Dietrich Road home in West Buffalo Township and while he was “chopping wood when we heard the wailing sound of our cat, a gray longhair.”

Junebug was trying to get to us for help, she was alive, but hurting very badly, Wagner said.

The cat had been shot through the length of its body.

“Oh, it was horrible,” said a shook-up Wagner. “My wife, my son saw what had happened to the cat. Who would do such a thing? The shooter must have looked straight at the cat.”

According to police, the cat had been shot by an arrow.

Wagner said his son pleaded with him to do something to try and save the cat, so he took her to the pet emergency hospital in Watsontown.

“They tried their best but there was little they could do,” Wagner said. “We had to put her down. This has been a horrible, traumatic experience for all of us.

Wagner has no idea who might have done this.

“I’ve done a little detective work of my own, talking to neighbors,” he said. “I hope maybe someone saw something. This is a hunter’s incident. I’ve even called the Game Commission to see if they might be able to investigate as this involved an archer’s arrow.”

For now, after what he described as “a big cry,” the family is slowly recovering from “a traumatic experience.”

He added, “It’s going to take some time. I’d like to see police find out who did this.”

Anyone with information is asked to call state police at Milton at 524-9391.

The killing was one of several other cruelty-to-animal incidents this past year in the Valley.

In June, Olen Mast, a Turbotville man, was charged after he shot a dog owned by an Amish family. The animal was on the porch of a house while people were inside the home.

Last May, John Malin Jr., 47, a Sunbury man, was charged with cruelty to animals after he stabbed a dog that had fouled the floor of a West Third Avenue home. Police said the bulldog, named Tank, owned by Dawn Lytle, of West Third Avenue, Sunbury, was taken to a local animal hospital and treated for his injuries and released.

Also in May, Kerry Lynn Zechman, 44, of Sixth Avenue, McClure, was charged with cruelty to animals after he killed a fish during a tirade in which he smashed a lamp, a jar, electronic equipment, two vacuum cleaners, a coffee pot, picture frames and dishes, in addition to a fish tank at a home on High Street in McClure. Police said there was a hole in the wall and a dead fish by the shattered fish tank.

In January, Suzanne Thomas, of Danville, was charged with cruelty to animals after she shot her neighbors’ dog, an 18-month-old yellow Labrador retriever named Georgia. She allegedly tied the dog to a tree and shot her three times.

Thomas claimed the dog had killed her pet rabbit.