Elliott woman charged with using poison on neighbor's cats
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Police said an Elliott woman poisoned her neighbor's cats by sprinkling the driveway they shared with boric acid, a pesticide that can kill household pets if they ingest it.
Regina Russell, 52, was arrested Wednesday and charged with cruelty to animals, harassment and criminal attempt cruelty to animals, all misdemeanors. She was released without bond.
In a criminal complaint, Officer Christine Luffey of the Pittsburgh police and Officer Kathy Hecker of Animal Friends said Ms. Russell's neighbor, Pamela Sylvester, called police Aug. 28 to report that her neighbor was pouring the poison on the driveway in an attempt to sicken her four cats.
Ms. Sylvester told police that when she asked Ms. Russell about the powder, she said "It's boric acid to kill your cats."
Ms. Sylverster told Officer Luffey that her cats had bouts of diarrhea, and later discovered that diarrhea is a symptom of boric acid poisoning.
When police interviewed Ms. Russell, she said she was trying to keep the cats away from her car, which sits abandoned in the driveway she shares with Ms. Sylvester.
"We told her it could harm her own dog, wild animals, or any domestic animal or person it comes into contact with," police wrote in the criminal complaint. "Regina responded by stating that she wants the cats gone."
Ms. Russell handed the yellow container of boric acid over to the officers, who observed it was nearly empty. They later consulted with the Pittsburgh Poison Center and the company that manufactured the substance, and both said the product can be toxic to animals.
Officer Luffey said she believes the cats ingested some of the powder when they walked through it and licked their paws and that caused their diarrhea.
"I believe these cats were slowly being poisoned," she said.
First Published September 30, 2011 5:38 pm