Texas firefighter arrested for leaving poisoned food that killed cats and dog

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Texas firefighter arrested for leaving poisoned food that killed cats and dog
© Shawn Hanke photojoiner_photo (15).jpeg

A Texas firefighter was arrested for allegedly poisoning five cats and a dog, police say.

Authorities say that Lieutenant Shawn Hanke was observed by residents in El Paso placing plates of cat food around their neighborhood.

Days later the animals all became ill and died from the allegedly tainted food, according to officials.

Lt Hanke, 48, turned himself in after an arrest warrant was issued charging him with six felony counts of animal cruelty resulting in death.

The 16-year veteran of the police force was booked into the downtown jail on a $15,000 bond.

Officials say that if he is convicted he could be sentenced to ten years in prison and face a $10,000 fine.

“A member of the El Paso Fire Department has been arrested in connection to an animal cruelty investigation,” said Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino in a statement.

“The City of El Paso and Fire Department do not condone this type of behavior and take this allegation seriously.”

Lt Hanke has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation.

“I could see from my ring [camera] there were like five cats come through here,” said resident Lucy Velázquez.

“I said to my husband remember those cats (that) used to come? We haven’t had any cats at all.

“That’s sad because maybe they did have owners that are missing their cats. Animals are just like children they depend on us to keep them safe to provide safety for them.”

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