A nurse in Florida has been arrested for killing her neighbors’ pets, reports NBC affiliate WESH News. Tamesha Knighten allegedly poisoned two cats and a pregnant dog with a pesticide on Aug. 16, 2023. Knighten faces three counts of animal cruelty and one count of depositing poison in a public place.
Woman poisons neighbors’ cats, pregnant dog for entering her yard
According to the neighbors, Knighten had threatened to kill their pets on multiple occasions if they continued to enter her yard. They also told investigators the day the animals died, the woman yelled at their kids who were playing outside.
When one of the cats started foaming at the mouth, Knighten reportedly told the neighbors the feline must have swallowed a frog. According to police, the two cats — Luna and Pancake — and the pregnant Chihuahua, Daisy, were poisoned by Phorate, an insecticide.
“We saw that one of them was in horrific distress, others had already died,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “The one that was in horrific distress died immediately.”
The felines passed away within hours of each other, but the dog was missing. By the time the neighbors found her, she had died. At the time of her death, the canine was pregnant with eight puppies.
Investigators later obtained surveillance footage from Knighten’s yard. Upon reviewing it, they saw the 51-year-old wearing blue gloves and holding a bowl, which contained food. Knighten told authorities she mixed chicken with her “special seasoning,” which was later confirmed to be Phorate, to feed animals in the area.
Sheriff Judd said samples from the bowl and the animals’ tissue had to be sent to three different universities. Hence, it took the police several months to make an arrest.
“These people lost their beloved pets in a most horrific way,” he said. “And she lost her freedom by going to jail.” He further described Knighten as “a cold-hearted person,” adding “it’s hard to imagine how a person in the medical field could do such a thing.”