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Niagara County SPCA: Royalton man facing aggravated animal cruelty charge for shooting cat

Posted at 3:09 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 15:09:33-05

ROYALTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Royalton man is facing an aggravated animal cruelty charge for shooting a cat, according to the Niagara County SPCA.

In a post on its Facebook page Tuesday the Niagara County SPCA said T. VanBuren was issued an appearance ticket last week after being charged with aggravated animal cruelty, he allegedly shot a male cat.

According to the SPCA, the cat has been named Joaquin and he was one of three cats being TNR'd (trap, neuter, release) by Cat by Cat Inc.

The SPCA released the following statement on the incident:

This case is particularly disturbing because Joaquin was in a humane trap when he was shot in the head with a 22. He had a scheduled appointment for vetting and neuter and a potential outlet had he proven friendly. We suspect Joaquin was at one time a house cat who was dumped on a rural road.

VanBuren's response when our humane officers questioned him last week: Yes, he did it, but he didn't understand what the big deal was- this is what people do in the country. He said he didn't realize he had committed a crime. He only thought he was killing a cat. VanBuren "took care of the cat" so that the property owner did not have to pay the fee to have him neutered through the rescue- the fee that would have been negotiable if the homeowner said she couldn't afford it.

We're here to say this is NOT what you do. This is ILLEGAL. We don't care if you live in the city or in the country. It is animal cruelty. It is a chargeable offense and will be prosecuted.

RIP Joaquin. Your life mattered and your death will not be in vain.