DUNNELLON, Fla. (CBS12) — A man is accused of poisoning a number of neighborhood cats and dogs in central Florida. Some of the animals died.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office arrested 36-year-oldJeremy Gordon Stromwall on four counts of aggravated animal cruelty on Wednesday.
The investigation began last December when a man told deputies that his pet, "Mr. Cat," had died. The man said it started to get sick and had seizures the night before. The cat died at the Dunnellon Animal Hospital after undergoing treatment. Veterinarians determined the cat likely had been poisoned.
The other of "Mr. Cat" said he also had a dog named "Bella" that died in October with similar symptoms. The sheriff's office said another neighbor came forward to say five of her cats died from similar symptoms since October.
The sheriff's office said an agricultural deputy performed a forensic necropsy on "Mr. Cat" and determined it died from ethylene glycol intoxication, likely from ingesting antifreeze.
The sheriff's office then brought in an expert from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine to help with necropsies on some of the other dead pets. After exhuming the remains of three pets, "Bella," "Lil' Peanut," and "Tiger," authorities determined they too had died from ethylene glycol poisoning.
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Investigators found a bowl of tuna mixed with antifreeze outside Stromwall's home. According to the sheriff's office, the suspect made statements about harming cats in the neighborhood.
The sheriff's office said Stromwall allegedly said he put out tainted food to poison the cats, and tried to get them to eat rat poison mixed with cat food.
Authorities found three containers of antifreeze, including a nearly empty container of antifreeze concentrate, multiple cans of tuna, and fish-flavored rat poison after executing a search warrant at his home.
Deputies arrested Stromwall on a warrant. He's at the Marion County Jail.
"As Sheriff, I am committed to investigating allegations of cruelty towards animals, including pets, livestock, and working animals," said Sheriff Billy Woods. "I am proud of the work that my deputies did in this case and am happy we have gotten some justice for Mr. Cat, Bella, Lil’ Peanut, Tiger, and their owners."