READSBORO, Vt. — A local man has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty for allegedly killing a cat and burning it to hide the fact from its owner.
Michael Choquette, 51, of Route 100 was arrested and charged Tuesday by state police.
The cat's owner, Kelly Gancarz, 37, contacted police after Choquette, her landlord, allegedly called her on Monday night and admitted to killing the 4-year-old animal. Gancarz lives in an apartment above Choquette .
According to Gancarz, she heard her other cat, Dizzy, crying outside in distress late Sunday night. When she went outside, she saw Choquette standing at the outside wood boiler. She believed Dizzy was upset because it could hear the other cat.
The next day, she looked in the boiler and said she found the remains of the animal. State Trooper Robert Zink investigated the claim and confirmed the remains of a small cat were in the boiler.
According to police, Choquette admitted to killing the cat but claimed he threw a piece of fire wood at it just to scare it. "He stated that he put the cat in the wood boiler in order to not have to deal with backlash from Gancarz," the police report states.
He will appear in Vermont District Court in Bennington on Monday, March 19. Animal cruelty is a felony charge.
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