A 32-year-old man from Erie, Pennsylvania, admitted to the Erie County Court that he had beaten his two pet cats to death with a golf club because he felt betrayed by them after they scratched him.
Christopher J. Bisbee pleaded guilty to one second-degree misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals in a plea deal that dropped an additional cruelty to animals count. The court records showed that Bisbee attacked the felines and “struck both cats numerous times with a golf club until they no longer were moving.”
As a result of his actions against the cats, Assistant District Attorney Mark Richmond said, Bisbee is not allowed to own any domestic animals for the time being. He was also ordered to pay $263 to the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
The charges against Bisbee carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison, and a $5,000 fine. Sentencing has been set for Oct. 7.
Stephen Sebald, Bisbees lawyer, said his client waived his right to a preliminary hearing and applied to the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, a special probation program for first-time offenders. He was denied admission.
According to Sebald, his client “proactively sought mental health counseling,” as he accepted that he had some mental issues.
Greg Acri, an Erie County Detective, filed charges against Bisbee following an investigation by the Humane Society Animal Enforcement Officer, Merle Wolfgang. Wolfgang confirmed that an anonymous tip had triggered the investigation into the animal cruelty claims.
In an interview with detectives, Bisbee admitted his guilt and recognized the fact that he needed help with his issues.
Wolfgang said on Monday: “I am glad one of the charges stuck. If there are mental health issues, I am glad he is getting some help.”
Whether Bisbee’s mental issues were what caused him to beat his cats to death will be for the courts to decide when determining punishment.