Sheriff: Suspect in killing, dumping cats in rural area Portage - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Sheriff: Suspect in killing, dumping cats in rural area Portage man

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PORTAGE (WKOW) -- A Columbia County Sheriff's official says a suspect in the killing of several cats and the dumping of their bodies in a rural area is a Portage man.

The official says the 73-year-old man received citations for disorderly conduct and littering.  A Portage Police official says Columbia County's district attorney will review information to decide if criminal charges will also be lodged against the man.

Liz Masterson of the Town of Lewiston says she began discovering the bodies of cats on her land twelve miles from Portage.  Masterson says she found nine dead cats in a period of six weeks.  Masterson says there was no indication the cats had been hit by cars on a nearby road, or were feral.

"These are healthy cats that had their nails trimmed, declawed, and there was no trauma,"  Masterson tells 27 News.  "In fact, they had an expression of agony," she says.

Masterson posted photos of the cats she found to social media, hoping people would recognize their pets.

Rebecca Mousseau of Portage tells 27 News her nine month old, gray and white colored cat Lucky went missing in March.

"I had a phone call on my answering machine from Liz, asking if I could identify the cat that was on her property, and it was my cat," Mousseau tells 27 News.

"It broke my heart because my cat was everything to me,"  Mousseau says.
Mousseau says while she does have the ashes of her beloved pet, she also has fear over what this suspect may be capable of, as he remains in the community.

Masterson says two other cat owners have positively identified their missing pets as found on Masterson's property.

Masterson says on one occasion, she confronted the suspect as he dumped a cat's body on her land, and drove off.

Online state court records show the suspect was fined $200 in 2016 for using a firearm within two hundred yards of a building.

Authorities have made no comment on the suspect's motive. 

"The investigators have done a tremendous job,"  Masterson says. 

She tells 27 News the suspect has connection to a nearby property, and believes the dumping of the cats near her home was intentional. 

"Intimidation,"  Masterson tells 27 News.

27 News has been unable to reach the suspect for comment.

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