We’ve all heard the cringe-worthy stories about microwaved kittens and poisoned puppies. Leighton Meester killed a cat by putting her in the dryer in the movie “The Roommate.” These acts of violence are illegal, but justice doesn’t always come swiftly, or at all, for its perpetrators.
So what lengths would you go to if someone shot your pet with an air rifle, causing them to die a slow, painful death? Would you hire a private investigator for $15,000 to find the killer?
Neil Tregarthen, a 56-year-old retired millionaire business-owner, took the law into his own hands when he hired Focus Investigations for 10,000 pounds ($15,000) to find the perp who killed his daughter’s kitten, Farah, with an air rifle, according to the BBC, who broke the story. He spent six weeks creating a 15-page report that gathered leads and named a prime suspect.
“I compiled all the information we had, and presented it to the police,” he told The Daily Mail.
When he gave the report to local officers, however, they dismissed it as “rumor and speculation” and closed the case.
Police “Totally Impotent”
Tregarthen called the police investigation team “totally impotent.”
“We did 85 per cent [sic] of the work – then Devon and Cornwall Police would not even go and knock on a couple of doors. Using an air rifle to shoot cats is illegal, and should be treated as such.”
Farah, a tiny black kitten, was allegedly playing in the Tregarthen family’s garden when she was shot with an air rifle last September. Aylish, Tregarthen’s daughter, found her kitten in a pool of blood and took her to the vet, where she suffered, Tregarthen said, “a very, long, painful, lingering death” due to blood poisoning and ruptured bowels.
Farah died on the operating table.
Tregarthen hired the investigators after purportedly being told by local law enforcement that there was not enough evidence to pursue the case. He believes the investigation was closed due to police budget cuts that has officers only looking into more serious crimes.
Steve Parsons, a community beat manager for the Devon and Cornwall police, defended their decision by saying, “We investigated this crime fully. As for the investigation report, I have examined this and it is packed with rumour and speculation, not evidence. However, on the back of this, officers did make further inquiries in the area which also turned out to be fruitless. I am confident we have done everything possible in investigating this case.”
Tregarthen, who lives in an estate in Truro, Cornwall, is also offering 1,000 pounds ($1,500) to catch the cat murderer. He has tacked up flyers in the neighborhood and set up a dedicated phone line for residents to leave information.
The team of investigators discovered that a string of air rifle attacks had been occurring near where the Tregarthens lived. Tregarthen’s team spent six weeks sleuthing before narrowing down the the list of possible killers to four individuals, all of whom were “youths.”
“We would camp out on the river pretending to be fishing,” Tregarthen told TDM. “We surveyed certain areas by pretending to be members of the public. Ideally we needed to witness an incident, but that never happened. We found a witness who claimed he had witnessed our main suspect shooting another cat.”
Tregarthen’s investigators have called the killer “sociopathic.”
While Farah’s killer is still out there, Tregarthen doesn’t regret shelling out so much for his daughter’s pet. He said:
“I would pay double that if I thought it would stop this sort of behavior. ‘I know I am in a fortunate position to be able to do so, but I think it is money well spent. It’s about society fighting back.’ ”