POINT PLEASANT — Disturbing reports of animals being tortured in one Point Pleasant neighborhood have found their way to Point Pleasant City Council.
During this week’s regular council meeting, Allen Moran, councilman for Ward Three, said a constituent had phoned him about dead cats being dumped into the Ohio River in the North Main Street area, near Shore Street and the old Marietta Plant. The caller also told Moran that cats in the neighborhood appeared to be tortured.
There have been at least two separate incidents of animal abductions and torture involving cats in the area which were reported to the Point Pleasant Register with photos provided as evidence. In both instances, the cats were family pets and disappeared only to reappear with their back legs taped together with electrical tape. The cats also appeared wounded in the photos and looked literally dragged through the mud, as if they were attacked by a larger animal, possibly a dog or person. At least one of the cats looked as if it had been soaked in water. In these two separate cases, both cats lived and were taken to local vets for care.
However, after one of the cats was treated and recovered, it disappeared and hasn’t been seen since. Again, both these incidents occurred at separate times, and the two cats belonged to different residents in the neighborhood, though details of the cases are eerily similar.
Now, with the reports of dead cats along the river bank being brought to council, the questions being asked are just how many animals have been tortured, and who is doing it? In addition to being concerned for family pets, at least one resident is wondering what is next? Several studies over the years have linked those who commit animal abuse as being more likely to commit violent crimes.
On Friday, Mayor Brian Billings said a police officer had been detached to confirm or verify the reports of dead, seemingly tortured animals along the river bank. As of press time, it wasn’t known what, if anything, the officer found.
“This is not going away,” Billings said. “I will make sure we stay on top of this and put forth an effort to find who is doing this. We don’t see this type of thing in our town, and we won’t put up with it.”
Police Chief Ernie Watterson said anyone who believes their animal was tortured or has any information about these cases should call the Point Pleasant Police Department at 304-675-1104.
Under the West Virginia Code, if a person is found guilty of intentionally torturing, mutilating or maliciously killing an animal, it is a felony. If convicted, a person could face not less than one or more than five years in jail and be fined not less than $1,000 but no more than $5,000.
These alleged animal torture incidents are taking place not only in a residential neighborhood, but near a church and daycare facility.
Billings said someone has to know something about what is happening in this area, and officers will continue to work the case to solve it.