Reward money in Coeur d’Alene cat abuse case soars

(Courtesy photo) This cat was believed to have been dunked in diesel oil from a noose around its neck. It was taken to Alpine Animal Hospital for treatment on Saturday, but later had to be put down.

By BRIAN WALKER

Hagadone News Network

COEUR d'ALENE — Local residents and business owners hope the $5,750 they have pledged for a reward leads to the conviction of a suspect in a cat abuse case that has shocked the community.

A cat that was apparently dunked in diesel oil was brought into Alpine Animal Hospital by a good Samaritan on Saturday. It was found in the area of Montana Avenue and 13th Street in Coeur d'Alene.

The cat, which had deep cuts on his neck consistent with a noose and oil on its lungs, had to be put down despite several hours spent to save it. It did not have any owner identification.

An anonymous Athol woman's $500 reward to find the suspect on Wednesday spurred six other residents to make pledges on Thursday totaling $5,250.

Jim Strathdee, who owns Atlas Storage, pledged $2,500.

"I hope it brings some action on the case," he said. "If anybody treated an animal this way, they don't need to be walking on the street. This reflects negatively on the county. If anybody does this to an animal, it may not be long before something is done to a human being."

Other pledges were made by: Jim Zimmerman, who lives in the Hayden area, $1,000; an anonymous Hayden woman, $500; an anonymous Coeur d'Alene man, $500; Dashco Conoco, Rathdrum, $500; Jim Huston, Post Falls, $250.

Zimmerman said he has been a cat lover since he was 2 and was "sickened" about the case.

"Somebody knows something but they're just afraid of what (the suspect) will do," Zimmerman said. "Hopefully the person will be caught — and not just have their hand slapped."

Kevin Randles, owner of Dashco, said the case is "outrageous and heartbreaking."

"I'd really like to see the suspect caught," he said.

The cat's body temperature was so low it didn't register on the thermometer. The temperature was below 93 degrees; the normal is 101.5.

Clinic workers gave the black cat two baths, IV fluids, antibiotics and pain medication. However, the cat still had abnormal breathing and seizures. Employees said the stench from the diesel on the cat was so bad that they could barely stand it.

The animal was found in the same vicinity as a cat who took a 4.5-inch blow dart to the face last May in the area of North Eighth Street and East Birch Avenue. That cat survived. Police have not linked the two cases.

Coeur d'Alene Police said this is the only recent animal abuse case the department has investigated.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 208-769-2320.

Read More Local News

BNSF announces crossing closures

February 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee COCOLALLA — BNSF Railway will be closing several roads over the coming week to work on crossings in the southern part of the county. On Tuesday, BNSF Railway will be closing the south end of Cocolal...

Read More

Former ITD official resigns

February 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d'ALENE — Facing felony theft and fraud charges, Idaho Transportation Department business manager Scott Fellom has resigned. Fellom is accused of embezzling $13,363.85 in forged checks from th...

Read More

Sam Owen Fire annexes Warren Island

February 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee HOPE — An island is a special place with a romantic mystique, but there are many logistics involved in living on one. Less than a mile of water separates Warren Island from the mainland, but it is ...

Read More

Facebook posts bring end to dirt bike heist

February 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Incriminating posts on social media brought a swift end to a motorcycle theft investigation, according to court records. Matthew Duane Howard Jr. is charged with grand theft. He made a...

Read More