Man Pleads Guilty to Setting Cat on Fire

A man pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and other related offenses after he set a cat on fire in Philadelphia.

Police say 21-year-old Tyrique Hall and 18-year-old Jose Sanchez set a cat on fire back on November 10 in the Olney section of the city. A woman told officials she spotted the cat on fire running down 3rd Street towards Wellens Avenue around 9:25 a.m. The woman also claimed she spotted Hall and Sanchez at the intersection and heard one of the men say, “I put a lot of fluid on it.”

The cat, named Campbell, was found at Wellens Avenue. He suffered from severe burns on 60 to 75 percent of his body and underwent two surgeries. After recovering at Penn Vet's Hospital in University City, Campbell was adopted by Philadelphia firefighter Stephen Paslawski.

Officials notified Campbell's owner, Madelyn Rivera, who said the adopted cat ran away from her home during the late summer. Rivera had the cat microchipped which is how officials were able to identify her as the owner.

(Pictured: 21-year-old Tyrique Hall)

Rivera was thrilled when the SPCA told her they had found him. But her joy quickly turned to horror when they told her what happened.

"I'm hearing, 'Hey, we found Campbell,'" Rivera said. "I'm like, 'Oh, great!' And then it was bad news. What would possess someone to go and light a cat on fire?" 

Investigators say surveillance video from a store near where Campbell was found captured Hall and Sanchez.

SPCA officers arrested both men last November. Hall pleaded guilty on Monday and could face a maximum of 10 years in prison. Sanchez is still awaiting trial.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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