Citation was given to man accused of drowning cat
Resident says he has received death threat
A man accused of killing his neighbor’s cat and giving her back the dead body when she came looking for her pet has received a citation.
Mesa County Animal Services Manager Doug Frye confirmed that his agency issued the citation for aggravated animal cruelty to Orchard Mesa resident Ed Haynes, who admitted to drowning a cat because he was sick of it ruining his landscaping.
Lisa DeShazer, the cat’s owner and Haynes’ neighbor in the Chipeta Pines subdivision, reported that Haynes trapped her cat, Little Mister, and when she contacted him to get it back, he returned the cat’s body and confessed to drowning the animal.
DeShazer reported that she heard her cat, Little Mister, meowing in Haynes’ backyard where he was confined in a trap on July 25. After several attempts to contact him at his home, he answered the door and when DeShazer asked for her cat, “he returned a couple of minutes later with Little Mister dead and dripping wet in a cage and handed it to her,” according to her account posted on social media. Her account also said Haynes told her the cat was ruining his lawn.
Frye said the case is being forwarded to the city attorney’s office, since it originated within the Grand Junction city limits, but that it could be referred to the Mesa County District Attorney for review if felony charges are pursued. Aggravated animal cruelty is a class 6 felony in Colorado.
A necropsy performed on the cat showed drowning was the cause of death, according to Frye.
Frye said an Animal Services officer and a Grand Junction Police Department officer conducted an interview with Haynes. During that interview, Haynes admitted to drowning the cat, Frye said.
Haynes, reached by phone Thursday, said he has received a variety of feedback since news of Little Mister’s death emerged. Though he received a death threat via mail from an anonymous sender, he said he’s also received three calls from people who shared similar frustrations with cat behavior and support him.
The death threat consisted of a message stating that the sender wanted to “knock me out, put me in a metal cage and put me in the river,” said Haynes, who reported the missive to police. Haynes also said he found a sign posted on his garage proclaiming he was a “cat killer.”
Haynes, who said he set the trap baited with tuna to catch the cats that were using his yard as a bathroom, said he killed the cat as a last resort after trying other methods to deter them from trespassing in his yard and killing the grass.
He said he didn’t know it belonged to his neighbor and assumed it was feral.
He said he wasn’t surprised to receive the citation and he doesn’t know what to anticipate from a court date set in September.
“It happened, I’m sorry it happened, but I was at wit’s end, I guess you could say,” he said, adding that he has had trouble eating and sleeping as a result of stress from the incident.
Haynes said he does not have the trap set currently as his problems with intruding cats appears to have ceased.
Animal Services has an open case involving another missing cat in the neighborhood, Miss Kitty, who was also owned by DeShazer.
At this point, Frye said they don’t have information suggesting the disappearances of Miss Kitty and Little Mister are connected.