Cat Set on Fire Starts New Life

Campbell the Cat, the feline that made headlines after being set on fire will start its new life today.

Philadelphia firefighter Stephen Paslawski will take home Campbell Thursday, according to the Pennsylvania Chapter of the SPCA.

Campbell was found with burns over 60 to 65 percent of its body on Nov. 10 in the Olney section of Philadelphia. The cat underwent two surgeries and has since been recovering at Penn Vet's Hospital in University City.

After hearing about Campbell, Paslawski -- who had recently had a beloved cat die right around the time Campbell was set on fire -- asked to adopt the pet.

"I don't know if you want to call it fate," said Paslawski. "But it just seemed like everything fell in line."

The duo went home together Thursday night.

Two men were arrested for lighting Campbell on fire.

Police say 21-year-old Tyrique Hall and 18-year-old Jose Sanchez set the cat on fire. A woman told officials she spotted the cat on fire running down 3rd Street towards Wellens Avenue around 9:25 a.m. The woman also claimed she spotted Hall and Sanchez at the intersection and heard one of the men say, “I put a lot of fluid on it.”

"These are two sick individuals," said PSPCA Director of Law Enforement George Bengal.

Officials notified Campbell's former 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. 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 Sanchez.

Both men are charged with criminal conspiracy, possession of an instrument of crime and animal cruelty. They could each face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty.  

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