A man named Richard Giles was recently found guilty of “causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal” after he killed the cat belonging to his neighbor, Shirley Gear-Evans.

The neighbors had previously gotten along, but once Gear-Evans adopted her cat Ruby, Giles’ demeanor changed. After adjusting to her new home, Ruby became an indoor-outdoor cat, which greatly upset Giles. According to him, Ruby was “ruining” his garden and attacked the birds that he had created a wildlife haven for. On Saturday, March 19, Giles supposedly found Ruby in his kitchen and decided he wouldn’t put up with her any longer. He caught Ruby, drowned her in one of his rainwater storage tanks, and put her body in a ditch.

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Gear-Evans searched for her cat and on Monday, decided to confront her neighbor. Giles told her plainly, “You won’t find her. She’s gone. I’ve killed her.” He fully admitted to killing her defenseless pet and showed no remorse. He even blamed Gear-Evans for not training her cat.

At the trial, Katrina Knill, a veterinarian, testified, “In my opinion death by drowning is a cause of extreme and unnecessary suffering to an animal and one of the most distressing states in which to see an animal.”

Gear-Evans is extremely distressed by the incident, stating “Ruby was my only companion throughout lockdown and now she’s gone and I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting another pet in case he killed that one too.” She continued, “He has told neighbours he did it to protect local wildlife, he was saying Ruby was killing the birds but I really think he just didn’t like my cat.”

Giles has to pay over $1,300 in compensation to Gear-Evans and around $1,000 in court fees. He also received a 12-week prison sentence that is suspended for 12 months.

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Sign this petition asking prosecutors with the RSPCA to make sure that Richard Giles is banned from ever having any animals in his possession!

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