Humane officers: Man was ‘fishing’ for cats with baited hooks

NANTICOKE, Pa. -- A man turned himself into police in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, charged with putting fishing hooks into food to give to stray cats.

Kenny Rowles, 27, was taken to jail after his arraignment in Nanticoke.

A rescue group found a cat in Plymouth last month with a hook in its mouth. A volunteer said it was clear that someone was fishing for cats with food, hooks, and fishing line.

Rowles is charged with several counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

The humane officer we spoke with describes what Rowles is accused of as torture.

Humane officers say they first started investigating Rowles last month. They got a call about a cat who had a fish hook in its mouth.

Officers went to Rowles' home on East Main Street in Plymouth. They say he admitted putting meat on fishing line and dangling it from his back porch for cats.

Humane officers say that while there were several cats on the property, they only found one with a baited triple fishing hook in its mouth.

"He was in pretty bad shape, the cat, plus with the string hanging out of his mouth it was pretty severe, so I'm glad justice is going to be served, full faith in that will happen," said Luzerne County Humane Officer Lisa Devlin.

Rowles was taken to the Luzerne County Prison. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

The cat, whose name is Tollie, had to have surgery and is doing fine. He is at a cat rescue.