A Brazil man has been charged with a Class D felony for allegedly poisoning a neighbor's pet, according to Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger.
James D. Goings was charged late last month in connection with the death of Bobbo, a 10-year-old domestic shorthair cat owned by Lisa Eckard, 703 S. Forest Ave. in Brazil. Goings is accused of placing a pan of anti-freeze-- deadly in small amounts when ingested by animals-- on his property at 702 S. Walnut St. in an attempt to ward off neighborhood cats.
"I've got pictures that show that he had it there," Eckard said.
A post-mortem examination of Mama Cat-- the second of Eckard's cats she believes was poisoned-- conducted at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in West Lafayette ruled ethylene glycol toxicosis as the cause of death, a typical diagnosis in cases of anti-freeze poisoning.
According to Eckard, a feud with another neighbor prompted Goings to put out the tray of anti-freeze.
"He intentionally tried to kill their cat and got mine by mistake," she said. "It was a hateful thing to do."
Eckard said she believes the deaths of several other cats in her neighborhood, including a second cat she owned, can be attributed to the tray of anti-freeze on Goings' property.
Reberger said similar cases are often dealt with as Class A misdemeanors, but said the circumstances of the poisoning may constitute a felony.
An animal cruelty offense is considered a felony if the offender "knowingly or intentionally tortures or mutilates a vertebrate animal," Reberger said.
"We're going to make the case that the poisoning led to suffering that qualifies as torture," he said.
Reberger said it would be difficult to predict when the case, which has been assigned to Clay Circuit Court, will come to trial.
"It could be several months, due to the backlog of the court system," he said.