Man accused of shooting, killing cat in Louisa appears in court
LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A man charged with torturing and maiming a cat in Louisa County had his initial appearance in court on Tuesday.
A Louisa County woman says she was at home when she found two hunting dogs near where she lives. When she called the number on the dogs' tags, the owner showed up.
When asked if he had caught anything, the hunter and his companions allegedly said they had caught some "Chinese food," showing a photo on their phone of a dead cat. The cat belonged to the woman and was named Fuzz Lightyear.
The hunter, 43-year-old Greg Badgett of Midlothian, was arrested Dec. 17, just over a week after he was reported to the Louisa County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Unit. He is accused of shooting and killing a cat.
"This is just an incredibly heartbreaking situation because not only was this family's cat shot and killed, but they had to endure seeing a photograph shown to them by this hunter of their dead cat, making jokes about it," said Rose Lemaster, an animal advocate in Central Virginia.
Fuzz Lightyear's owner did not want to speak out of fear of retaliation.
Lemaster says the experience has been traumatizing for Fuzz Lightyear's owner.
"What this family has gone through, no family should have to go through," she said.
A necropsy showed that Fuzz Lightyear's cause of death was a gunshot wound.
Animal cruelty resulting in the death of a companion animal, such as a dog or cat, is a Class 6 felony in Virginia, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
"There is no season on cats in the state of Virginia. Cats are companion animals. There is absolutely no season in which it would be acceptable to kill a cat," Lemaster said.
The Louisa County Commonwealth's Attorney Office does not comment on pending litigation.
Badgett's preliminary hearing will take place April 20.