Highlands man charged with felony after shooting cat to death

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on January 19, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 19 at 7:14 PM

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A 24-year-old Highlands man faces an animal cruelty charge after he said he shot a cat to death on Saturday in east Harris County, deputies said.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Joseph D. Morgan is charged with cruelty to animal/torture with firearm following an incident along the San Jacinto River.

Deputies said the investigation began when they received a complaint about a firearms discharge.

A deputy responded to Riverside Street and was told that Morgan had shot a black cat with a rifle, deputies said. The deputy found the cat’s body near the riverbank and then interviewed Morgan.

Morgan said he had found a stray, sick cat that needed to be euthanized, so he threw the cat into the air and shot it using a shotgun loaded with bird shot.

The deputy contacted the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which accepted the criminal charge against Morgan.

The deputy also called the Houston chapter of the SPCA, which sent an investigator, who removed the cat’s body for autopsy and disposal.

Bail was set at $10,000 and that Morgan’s initial court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday in the 177th District Court.

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