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Sulphur animal lover vs animal killer, who's in the right?

Published: Dec. 19, 2014 at 11:54 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2015 at 11:55 PM CST
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SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - It's a case of an animal lover who can't say no to cats and someone who took the life of one of them.

There's two sides to every story. On the one side, there's an animal lover with several cats. She feeds them, they have a litter box, but live outside so they wander.

On the other hand, someone didn't seem to like that and took matters into their own hands.

So, who's in the right? And what are the laws?

"I'm an animal lover big time," said Janet Hutto.

Hutto can't say no when it comes to cats. She started with one, but now has 16, "I don't care if I eat or not, I got to feed them."

After she has them fixed, she tries to find them a home.

"They probably go through three bags a week of cat food," explained Hutto, who says she knows it's a lot of cats to feed and care for, but added there was no excuse for what happened last week.

"A friend of mine woke me up and said you need to come outside [...] So I walked outside and it was in the corner. They shot it," recalled Hutto, tearfully.

Hutto filed a police report. Animal Cruelty Investigator Grady Hungerford responded, "It's still under investigation. There were no eyewitnesses which makes it very difficult to prove, because with most animal cruelty cases, whether it's a misdemeanor or a felony level, you really need to have an eyewitness or witness it happening."

Grady says Sulphur law maintains you can only have three cats or three dogs on your property. However, you can have more if you have documentation showing they're fixed or if you have a permit, "Then there really isn't any limit to the amount of animals you can have as long as you're able to care for them."

While Sulphur's cat leash law does give neighbors the right to humanely trap animals that may wander onto their property, shooting them is a felony offense.

"And that can hold up for a first offense up to 10 years in prison," explained Grady.

Hutto says until they find out who killed her cat, she's keeping a watchful eye over all of them, "I want it to stop, I don't want anyone to sit there and kill my animals."

Grady also had some advice for animal lovers, as well as those experiencing nuissance animals. Click on nuisancextra in this story to hear it.

In the meantime, Hutto hopes she can find homes for these cats before more end up dead.

Anyone interested in adopting one of Hutto's cats can call her directly at 337-313-9511.

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