Long Island man accused of trapping, euthanizing neighbor’s cat

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WEST ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) – A man who didn’t get along with his neighbor trapped her cat in his backyard and then took it to an animal shelter to be euthanized, police said.

Regina Fagone searched the neighborhood for two days earlier this month after her cat disappeared, then she went to the Town of Islip Animal Shelter, where employees broke the news to her: Her beloved cat, a Russian blue, had been euthanized that day.

Fagone called police officers on April 4 and told them about a long-standing disagreement with neighbor Richard DeSantis, who keeps several animal traps in his backyard, the Suffolk County Police Department said in a news release Sunday.

An investigation found DeSantis had captured the cat and dropped it off at the shelter to be killed, police said.

DeSantis, 56, was arrested Saturday and was charged with criminal mischief, criminal possession of stolen property and making a punishable false written statement, police said. He was issued a desk appearance ticket and will be arraigned June 5.

DeSantis, reached by telephone at his home Sunday afternoon, said there are two sides to every story, but he hung up before telling his.

“Are you calling to wish me a happy Easter?” he asked. “No? Then goodbye.”

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