Deputy accused of stomping girlfriend’s cat to death, police say

Axel's cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma.
Axel's cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma.(Tampa Police Department)
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 3:00 PM CDT
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TAMPA, Fla. (Gray News) – A deputy in Florida is facing charges for felony animal abuse after stomping on his girlfriend’s cat, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Police said Eric Harris, with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, was upset that his girlfriend’s cats were jumping onto the counters and furniture and defecating outside of their litter box.

Harris’ girlfriend found both cats hiding in their crate when she returned home shortly after 7 p.m. Aug. 22.

According to police, she noticed the toenails on one of the cat’s rear paws were broken and bloody.

The cat, named Axel, couldn’t stand using its rear legs and was acting oddly, so she took it to the vet.

The veterinarian recommended the cat be taken to an animal hospital for urgent care, where Axel died from the injuries the same day.

The doctor contacted law enforcement due to the severity of the cat’s injuries, according to police.

Detectives questioned Harris about the injuries, who denied any wrongdoing and claimed the cat was fine during the time he was with it alone.

According to the results of a necropsy conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Axel suffered severe injuries to internal organs and facial injuries, including a missing tooth.

The cat also had markings on its body that indicated it had been stomped.

Police say the cat’s cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma.