Man arrested on felony cat killing charges
A convicted felon has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty in connection with the recent fatal shooting of two cats with a pellet gun around his residence.
Samuel Allen Hardee, Jr., 54, of 579 Boardwalk Blvd, Ridgeland, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of felonious injury or killing of an animal on Jan. 20.
Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal said Hardee is charged in connection with the killing of two cats within the past week.
“Animal abuse and cruelty is often a precursor to other serious violent crimes, so swift and harsh prosecution of these types of cases will hopefully prevent future acts by defendants,” Neal said.
Hardee remains in the custody at the Madison County Detention Center on a $20,000 bond pending an initial appearance before a Ridgeland Municipal Court Judge.
Additionally, the Mississippi Department of Corrections has placed a hold on Hardee for a parole violation in connection with a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charge.
Neal said that Ridgeland Police received a complaint approximately one week earlier from a citizen reporting a deceased cat which had been left on a doorstep of a local resident.
“This cat was examined and determined to have been shot with a pellet rifle,” said Neal. “Through the investigation and with the help of citizens in the area, Hardee was identified as a suspect.”
During the investigation conducted by RPD and RPD Division of Animal Control, an additional complaint from the same citizen revealed another cat was discovered to have been shot with a pellet type weapon, Neal said.
Evidence recovered led to the arrest of Hardee and a search of his home where several items were recovered to be used in the prosecution, authorities said.
The Mississippi Legislature during the 2020 session strengthened the animal cruelty laws in our state. Neal said this was due to efforts led by Senator Angela Hill (R, District 40).
The revised code section for animal cruelty allowed for a separate offense charge for each animal who was abused. Additional revisions allowed for charges to be filed as a felony on the first offense which carries fines up to $5000 and/or imprisonment up to three years.