Police: 3 Men Set Teenager's Pet Cat on Fire

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by Morgan Fogarty
Bio | Email | Follow: @morganfogarty by Photographer Adam Stevens

MONROE, N.C. - Midnight the cat is recovering after being set on fire in a Monroe neighborhood Sunday.  He is burned from his back to his ears.  Police have already made two arrests: Stanislav Nadol and Clyde Mackey.  They're still looking for Rico Lamount Bennett, who's also facing a separate parole violation.  

Police Chief Debra Duncan says the guys worked together on this crime.  "One of the guys says 'that cat's getting on my nerves, go get that cat, I'm gonna set it on fire.'  (Another) douses it with light fluid, set the cat on fire and cat took off running," she says. 

Audrey Hailey's teen daughter has had Midnight since he was a kitten.  She says, "My daughter (is) taking it hard.  She loved that cat.  We all did because has pretty green eyes."

Hailey called the police as soon as she saw the badly burned animal but the cat ran off before she could grab him.  Midnight reappeared Tuesday morning.  Police came and took him to the vet.  Hailey says, "I just hope Midnight is OK, I really do."

27-year-old Nadol has reportedly been kicked out of his apartment and banned from the property.  That's good news for neighbor - and animal lover - Samantha Viehmeyer.  She says, "I wouldn't want anything to do with them.  I couldn't imagine anybody doing that."

The men face felony animal cruelty charges.  Duncan calls the crime "horrible" and often, a precursor to more violence.  She says, "Anybody that would mistreat an animal or abuse an animal in my opinion would mistreat a human being also."

As of Tuesday night, Nadol and Mackey remain behind bars.

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