Man charged with animal cruelty

By on October 12, 2014

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There are three differing stories relating to how a cat was critically injured at Raymond R. Rehak’s residence at 305 Duke Street. on Sept. 30.

However, the indisputable fact is Rehak was charged on Thursday with cruelty to animals relating to a severely injured cat which was euthanized at Adamstown Veterinary Hospital.

The cat, whose name and description was not disclosed, had internal bleeding and a broken right leg.

Two witnesses told police that Rehak intentionally injured the cat by throwing it into the floor and then punting it like a football.

Police said the incident began when Rehak began yelling at around 3:30 p.m. to his ex-girlfriend who lived in an apartment across from his Duke Street home.

Witnesses told police that Rehak, 46, had admonish the woman for not taking care of the cat and he demanded she take it. The woman said she couldn’t because her landlord doesn’t allow pets.

That’s when Rehak allegedly “raised the cat and forcefully and violently threw it into the porch floor,” according to a criminal complaint filed by Ephrata Police Officer Yevgeniy Kertsman.

“(Rehak) then picked it and raised it as high as he could and slammed it again. Rehak then held it in his hands and kicked it inside his house through the front door like a football,” according to the affidavit of probable cause.

In an interview with Kertsman, Rehak stated he took the cat to Adamstown Veterinary Hospital where it had to be euthanized because of the internal bleeding. He denied intentionally hurting the pet and said the cat was injured when he accidentally stepped on it.

Kertsman on Oct. 3 interviewed the hospital medical staff who said Rehak had told a different story when he brought the cat in three days before. He stated the “cat fell off the steps three weeks ago,” according to the affidavit.

The medical record confirmed that the cat sustained traumatic injury and subsequently required euthanasia.

Charges were filed against Rehak on Thursday, Oct. 9 at the office of District Judge Tony Russell. The charge of cruelty to animals is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Rehak’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28 before Russell.

A person convicted of violating the provisions of the charge can be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.

A northwestern Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty for beating his two cats to death with a golf club after they scratched him was sentenced last month to one month to a year in prison.

The Erie Times-News reports that an Erie County judge also ordered 32-year-old Christopher Bisbee to spend a year on probation.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455

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