When Brandi Miles and her father found “Fudgey” roaming the streets several years ago, they immediately made the cat a part of their family.
“We’ve had him since he was a baby,” Miles said. “Everybody in the neighborhood loved the cat.”
It’s that family bond that made their gruesome discovery Tuesday morning all the more devastating. Miles’ father found his beloved pet dead and hanging on the fence in the backyard of his Germantown home with a rope wrapped around his neck.
The family immediately contacted the Pennsylvania SPCA who launched an investigation. Their investigation led them to Miles’ neighbor, Domingo Vargas, the owner of a local hair salon.
Vargas told NBC10 that the entire ordeal was an accident and that he didn’t mean to kill the cat.
“I’m very sorry,” Vargas told NBC10. “I never tied it intentionally.”
Vargas told officials he found the 8-year-old cat Tuesday morning and realized it belonged to his neighbor. He claims he took the cat to his neighbor’s home and knocked on the door but realized no one was home. Vargas then says he took a cord and tied the cat to his neighbor’s fence, unintentionally killing him.
Vargas insists it was an accident and apologized to the owner. Miles isn’t buying his explanation however.
“It seems odd to me,” she said. “You took away a member of our family. I hope you pay for what you did.”
Vargas was cited with animal cruelty, which carries a $750 fine, but he wasn’t charged. SPCA officials say they don't have any evidence that he killed the cat intentionally.
Stay with NBC10.com for more details on this developing story.