TAMPA, Fla. - A 19-year-old man faces two felony counts of animal cruelty in the case of a cat that was shot multiple times with a BB gun and then dumped into a bay, authorities said today.
Giovanni Estrada, of 10206 Parsons St., was arrested Thursday at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He was released from the county jail this morning on $4,000 bail.
"This was torture," Animal Services investigator Pam Perry said. "It's remarkable she survived the many times she was shot in that cage and kicked in McKay Bay."
Authorities said the cat, named Lovey after it was rescued, belonged to Estrada's girlfriend, 26-year-old Mildred Marie Krack.
Animal Services investigators said state prosecutors are reviewing the case.
Lovey was found in the wee hours of Sept. 1 after a passer-by heard the distress cries of a cat. The black and white cat was inside a graffiti-covered cat carrier that had been dumped in McKay Bay.
BB pellets were found in the cat's chest and abdomen area, authorities said. Lovey is still receiving treatment but has been adopted.
The carrier was labeled "Kitty Penitentiary" in large letters, with writing saying it was established in 2010. The carrier identified the "jailer" as Missy, but the name of the "warden" was erased.
"Missy" is Krack's nickname, investigators said.
More than 20 hash marks drawn on the carrier with black marker indicate how many times the cat was placed inside for a timeout "for whatever misgivings," Perry said.
"This is an intentional act of animal cruelty," she said.
The reward in the case reached $11,000 and authorities said they received multiple tips.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W . Scripps Company and Angie's List
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