The charges against 47-year-old Richard Madden stem from an investigation by a game warden and the cat’s owner, Michael Mitchell.
The day after Mitchell and his wife heard a late-night gunshot, he found the family’s gray tabby, Dakota, buried in a shallow grave along railroad tracks that border his property. An examination of the remains confirmed that the cat had been shot with a rifle.
Mitchell said he didn’t disturb footprints he spotted in the dirt where he found Dakota. He also plastered the neighborhood with fliers seeking help in finding the person who shot the cat.
Mitchell said Madden came to his house in December to inform him that he’d just shot and killed a stray dog on the road in front of Mitchell’s house. It’s not immediately clear if the dog shooting led to the recent charges against Madden.