After talking about the adoption process for an orange and white cat named Lennox at the shelter, Christopher C. Gugliuzza, 19, bolted from the building with the feline and made a getaway in his car to his residence.
His girlfriend reported to police Tuesday Gugliuzza tortured Lennox — slamming the animal against a wall, choking and dragging it by a power cord until he took the cat to a nearby wooded area.
The woman was present in the woods with Gugliuzza, but repeatedly objected and told him to stop for the cat’s wellbeing.
The woman told police the cat was whimpering at this point, but still alive, Bloomington Police Department Detective Sgt. John Kovach said.
The woman reported that Gugliuzza then delivered, what she believed to be, a fatal blow with a large rock.
However, Lennox’s remains were not recovered by police, Kovach said.
Gugliuzza was first arrested Monday on preliminary theft charges and detained at the Monroe County Jail, where he later posted bail.
Kovach said Gugliuzza’s girlfriend came forward Monday afternoon with information regarding the animal cruelty incidents. Police caught up with Gugliuzza as he was leaving the jail and, again, arrested him — this time in connection with animal
The woman told police this wasn’t an isolated incident.
Gugliuzza previously had three other cats: Misty, Rosie and Peaches.
Whether each of the felines came from the Bloomington Animal Shelter was unknown as of Tuesday afternoon, but Kovach said Gugliuzza had a history of adopting from the shelter. Bloomington police used shelter adoption records to track and arrest Gugliuzza, Kovach said.
Gugliuzza reportedly became irate with Misty after being scratched and strangled the cat to death, Kovach said.
He later buried the cat. Two days following the death of Misty, a new cat, Rosie, was brought into the picture. Rosie, too, ended up dying, but the woman told police she was not sure as to the circumstances surrounding the death.
Then, in the last week of November, there was Peaches, Kovach said.
One day when the woman was visiting Gugliuzza, she reportedly noticed the feline acquired a leg injury after a leap from a counter top.
When she visited on a separate occasion, days later, Gugliuzza told her the cat had to be put down, Kovach said.
He has since admitted to the theft and acknowledged responsibility for the deaths of two of the cats.
Altogether, Gugliuzza is preliminarily charged with theft and two instances of animal cruelty, all felony counts. So far, Kovach said, police have only been able to prove the 19-year-old’s involvement in two of the cats’ deaths.
As of Tuesday evening, Laurie Ringquist, director of animal care and control said, at the moment, there will be no comment on behalf of the shelter due to the active status of the case.
According to jail officials, Gugliuzza again bailed out this morning at about 10:30 a.m. on $4,000 surety and $500 cash bonds.
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