SHAMOKIN — A pet cat was mauled and killed by a pair of dogs Wednesday, and criminal charges are being pursued, according to Police Chief Darwin Tobias III.
Graphic surveillance footage shows the dogs running at large and attacking the cat on Willow Street, just east of Market Street. The dogs chased the cat and cornered it on a front porch.
“It’s very disturbing and appalling,” Tobias said of the surveillance footage filmed by a private camera on a nearby property. “It made me sick in the stomach.”
The dogs are observed in the footage being walked on leashes by a pair of males moments after the cat is seen scurrying along parked cars.
The animals and males disappear from the footage, shared on the Shamokin Crime Watch Facebook page, before the animals re-emerge.
Moments later, the males approach cautiously, with one walking onto the porch and grabbing a leash to pull the dog to the street. The other dog follows. Both dogs continue to maul the cat. The males are approached by a neighbor before they walk away with the leashed dogs.
Police are trying to determine if the males were using the dogs in an attempt to hunt the cat.
One of the males has been identified. He is a juvenile, Tobias said, and charges are pending. The second male has not been identified.
Patrolman Bill Miner is investigating. Assisting are Mark Rusinko, Northumberland County dog warden, and animal humane officer Richard Wright.
The dogs were not in custody as of Thursday afternoon, Tobias said.
Rich Fowler, of the Shamokin Crime Watch, agreed the surveillance footage is graphic and disturbing. It was published with a clear warning at the top of the post.
Fowler said sharing the footage is important to aid efforts in identifying the second male. Still images were considered but ultimately were too blurry, he said.
“It’s shocking, it’s upsetting and it’s happening in our city, and we need to stop it,” Fowler said, adding that he’s received upward of 60 private messages regarding the males’ identities, all of which he’s passed on to authorities.
“The public’s help in identifying these people is huge. We don’t know everybody,” he said. “The cops don’t know everybody. Unless the police are available to respond at the time of the incident, it’s not a good chance they’ll catch someone with a basic description.”
Shamokin Crime Watch has 30 active members, and more members are sought. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month in the Shamokin Emergency and Rescue Squad quarters, 511 N. Franklin St. People should use the side door to the rear of the police department.
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