Philadelphia Man Who Set Cat on Fire Gets Probation

| by Lina Batarags

”What would possess someone to go and light a cat on fire?” wondered cat owner Madelyn Rivera after two young men in Philadelphia did precisely that to her pet.

Jose Sanchez, 18, and Tyrique Hall, 21, set the cat on fire on November 10 in the Olney section of the city. They were arrested in November by SPCA officers.

A woman told officials she spotted a cat on fire running down 3rd Street towards Wellens Ave. She also reported seeing Hall and Sanchez at the same intersection, and said that she heard one of the men say, “I put a lot of fluid on it.”

Surveillance cameras from a store nearby where the cat was found also confirmed that Hall and Sanchez were in the area around the same time.

The cat, which has since undergone two surgeries, suffered burns on 65 to 70 percent of its body.

Officers were able to identify Rivera as the injured cat’s owner through a microchip she had previously had inserted into the cat’s body. Her reaction upon hearing of the cat’s condition was one of horror.

The cat, Campbell, has been adopted by Philadelphia firefighter Stephen Paslawski.

On Monday, Sanchez was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $2,400 in fines. He has been banned from owning animals for two years.

Hall pleaded guilty last month and is awaiting sentencing. He faces up to 10 years in prison.


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