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Pasco County deputy arrested for animal cruelty in stomping death of cat

Posted at 9:31 AM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 09:31:48-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa police arrested a Pasco County Sheriff's Office deputy for animal cruelty on Wednesday.

TPD said PCSO deputy Eric Harris had an argument with his then-girlfriend on August 21 about issues he had with her cats. Harris was upset about the cats going outside of their litter box and jumping on the counters and furniture.

According to police, when Harris' girlfriend came home on August 22, she found 3-year-old Axel in his crate with his toenails broken and bloody. Officials said the cat was unable to stand using its rear legs.

Police said she took Axel to the vet and the vet recommended Axel be taken to an animal hospital or urgent care. TPD said the cat died from its injuries the same day.

Officials said Harris was questioned by detectives and denied any wrongdoing. On August 26, FDLE conducted a necropsy that showed Axel had suffered hemorrhaging, bruising to internal organs, and marking indicating he had been stomped. The cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma.

TPD arrested Harris on August 31. He is now facing a charge of felony animal cruelty.