NBC10.com - Rosemary Connors
Officials report a horrible case of animal cruetly in Philadelphia. A cat is set on fire by two men. Now, authorities want to find them. NBC10's Rosemary Connors reports.
Officials have identified and released a picture of one of the two men accused of setting a cat on fire.
Police say Tyrique Hall and another man set the cat on fire last Sunday in the Olney section of the city. A woman told officials she spotted the cat on fire running down 3rd Street towards Wellens Avenue around 9:25 a.m. on Sunday. The woman also claimed she spotted two men at the intersection and heard one of the men say, “I put a lot of fluid on it.”
The cat, named Campbell, was found at Wellens Avenue. He suffered from severe burns and is being treated at the PSPCA shelter hospital. Officials say it will take time for him to fully recover.
"It appears that this cat was probably burned over 60 to 75 percent of his body," said George Bengal of the PSPCA.
Officials notified Campbell's owner, Madelyn Rivera, who said the adopted cat ran away from her home during the late summer. Rivera had the cat microchipped which is how officials were able to identify her as the owner.
Rivera was thrilled when the SPCA told her they had found him on Sunday. But her joy quickly turned to horror when they told her what happened.
"I'm hearing, 'Hey, we found Campbell,'" Rivera said. "I'm like, 'Oh, great!' And then it was bad news. What would possess someone to go and light a cat on fire?"
Investigators say surveillance video from a store near where Campbell was found captured Hall and his accomplice.
SPCA officers secured an arrest warrant for Hall. He is described as a 6-foot-3 black male weighing 200 pounds. His last known address is 5204 N. 3rd Street. Investigators believe he is wearing a dark-colored jacket, dark-colored workout pants with a white stripe and red sneakers.
Investigators also say they identified the second suspect and are working towards an arrest. They have not yet released his picture and description however.
If you have any information on the identity of the suspects, please call the Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement team at 866-601-SPCA. The PSPCA is offering a $500 reward for tips leading to Hall's arrest. Rivera, meanwhile, has a message for the culprits.
"I really do hope they catch you," Rivera said. "Only for the simple fact that it's not funny to do what you did to that cat. It really isn't. Even if it's not my cat, it's an animal. It's a living being!"