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Police: Fairview Twp. man fatally shot neighbor's cat
A Fairview Township man, annoyed about cats at his mobile home park, fatally shot his neighbor's cat, according to charging documents filed against him.
Steven Anthony Spahr, 25, of 29E Meadowbrook Court in the Meadowbrook Mobile Home Park, will be charged with second-degree misdemeanor animal cruelty and the summary offense of carrying or discharging an air rifle in a public place.
Fairview Township Police filed the charges Thursday, and Spahr has been sent a summons through the mail, court records state.
Officers were called to the neighborhood about 6:40 p.m. Wednesday by Sherry Frick, who reported that someone shot Boots, her family's pet cat, according to charging documents.
Police said the Frick family heard Boots "crying out in pain" and found her in a bedroom closet Tuesday night with a gunshot wound that went through her abdomen, documents state.
They cleaned Boots' wound and kept her warm. The next morning, they woke up to find Boots had died, police said.
Belled and collared: Frick, who was distraught about her cat, was talking to a neighbor about it when the neighbor's 9-year-old daughter walked up and asked if Boots was OK, according to documents. The girl said her friend's father "may have accidentally shot a cat with his air rifle that was wearing a collar and bell," documents state.
Boots was an indoor-outdoor cat that wore a collar with a bell on it, police said.
Officer Andrew Paul, who filed the charges, spoke with Spahr about the shooting on Wednesday, and Spahr initially denied being involved, according to police.
However, after being "further questioned," he admitted to shooting Boots about 8 p.m. Tuesday with his Ruger Air Hawk .177-caliber pellet rifle, charging documents allege. That is a high-powered pellet rifle, police said.
Peeked around corner: "Spahr advised he was frustrated by all the cats in the mobile-home park rummaging through ... garbage every night," documents state. "Spahr advised he was cooking out on the grill when he observed a cat peeking around the corner of his trailer."
He went inside, got his pellet gun and shot the cat, police said.
Paul noted in charging documents that other mobile homes were close by, and that it was unsafe to fire the weapon there.
Spahr's preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 30, court records state. He could not be reached for comment, and it's unclear whether he has retained an attorney.
Prior cruelty charge: It's the second time Spahr has been charged with animal cruelty in York County.
Northern York County Regional Police charged him with simple assault, resisting arrest, making terroristic threats, animal cruelty and harassment for a May 3, 2015, domestic assault at his former home on Hilton Avenue in Conewago Township.
Court documents state that Spahr choked his then-girlfriend, threatened to kill her, punched their pit bull repeatedly in the face, then became combative with officers after they arrived.
He pleaded guilty in October 2015 to simple assault and was sentenced to two years of probation as part of a negotiated plea agreement, court records state.
All other charges, including animal cruelty, were dismissed as part of the agreement, records state.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.