LEWISTON — A felony charge against a Greene man accused of using martial arts to subdue and strangle a pair of cats in March will be dropped in 18 months if he complies with conditions of the dismissal.
Michael Herrmann, 47, appeared in 8th District Court in Lewiston on Monday where he agreed to the deal.
If he were to fail to meet the conditions of the agreement, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison on the charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.
The charge stems from a March 23 incident in which an animal control officer investigated the case after he was told the cats had been disposed of in a manner legally considered cruel.
Herrmann told that officer he took two of his neighbor’s cats into the woods off a snowmobile trail to euthanize them. He showed the officer, who retrieved the remains and sent them to a veterinarian for examination.
Herrmann said the woman who was staying at a neighbor’s home dropped the cats off with Herrmann even though he had asked her not to because his daughter is allergic to cats.
He told the officer the shelter was closed when the cats were delivered and he didn’t have time to take them to a shelter in the morning where he concluded they would be euthanized anyway.
During the next 18 months, he must pay $278 in restitution to Animal Emergency Clinic of Mid Maine, complete 30 hours of public service work, complete general mental health counseling and obey all federal, state and local laws.
He is scheduled to return to court March 27, 2019, where the charge will be dropped if he has complied with all of the conditions of the agreement. If he were to violate any of the conditions, he could be sentenced on the felony charge.