A family from Pensacola, Florida, is grieving after a stray cat they fed was “horrifically” burned alive, according to Newsweek. The family claims a neighbor’s Ring doorbell captured the incident on video. They are blaming neighborhood teens for killing the cat.
Stray cat burned alive
Don Hayden, a 47-year-old father of three who lives in the Montclair neighborhood, told the news outlet that several youths set a stray cat on fire. The cat, nicknamed “Little Friend” by Hayden’s children, was approximately 2 years old. The fur baby was part of a cat colony of around 30 felines in the area. Hayden, along with his wife Ashlee and their kids, who range from ages 13 to 18, fed the cat daily.
But when Hayden left for work around 5 a.m. on Sunday, he discovered the remains of the scorched cat.
“It was pretty horrific,” he told Newsweek. “Because my kids take care of the cats more than anyone, they’re pretty devastated.”
Caring for neighborhood cats
Hayden’s wife and the couple’s 13-year-old child watched the video of the cat’s death. According to Hayden, five to seven teens as young as 11 years old tortured the cat. Hayden claims to know their identities.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) and Escambia County Animal Control (ECAC) are investigating the incident.
Unfortunately, criminal activity isn’t unusual in the neighborhood.
“Montclair is a very bad neighborhood,” Hayden said. “I am trying to move out of there as soon as possible.”
However, relocating might be a challenge as Hayden’s kids want to bring all of the cats from the colony with them. While this is unfeasible, Hayden understands the inclination.
“I do not want this happening to any more of these beautiful kitties,” Hayden said.
The family, which has four feline friends of their own, is looking for forever homes for the 30 cats. Three-fourths of the cats have already had spay or neuter surgery.
“I’m also trying to find some help with getting some food for these cats because it does get very expensive and I don’t want them to go hungry,” Hayden said.