Updated Thu, Feb 27, 2014 1:29 pm
An area woman with alleged ties to Athens County, Vinton County and Wellston has created somewhat of a buzz on social media in the past few days, regarding her self-alleged animal cruelty.
A 22-year-old posted on her Facebook profile a picture of a dead cat that caused such a stir that at least three police agencies are investigating what happened. Investigators with the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Vinton County Sheriff’s Office and the Wellston Police Department have all looked into the situation.
The picture in question shows a dead cat with what appears to be a wound near its shoulder, and blood coming from its mouth. The woman, who posted the picture, insinuates she killed the cat by shooting it with an arrow, and then with a “twenty gauge to the face.”
The woman also commented that when she sees unwanted animals, she “adopts them and gives them a ‘forever home’ in the garbage or in the driveway of those who she feels would ‘appreciate’ it most.”
In the post, she goes on to say, “I can only wait patiently until I have nothing else to loose(sic) and can take care of unwanted humans in the same way.”
“We would like to know about the cat,” Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly said. “But I’m concerned about the aggressive comments that she made in that post. If we do find her, or Wellston finds her, what we’d like to do is have her evaluated for her mental stability."
On Monday, the Wellston Police Department interviewed the woman and she denied killing the animal.
“She told my officers that she was drunk and that she posted that photo for more or less attention and she had been off her meds,” stated Wellston Police Chief Tim Ackley. “She suffers with a case of schizophrenia.”
Ackley said, “She claimed that the photo of the cat she took and posted on Facebook, but she said she did not kill the cat. She said that she found it on the side of the road. Basically, she found the cat that way and took credit for it. She said she found it on Stanley Road in Vinton County.”
According to Ackley, the police department had the woman evaluated by Woodland Centers, Inc.
“They let her go and said she’s okay,” said Ackley. “I’ve had people calling me and emailing me saying to make sure we do something about this matter.”
Ackley added, “My officer is going to work up a case based off of what she posted on Facebook and everything else. We will send it to the Jackson County Prosecutor to see what he thinks.”
As far as being charged with something Ackley said “inducing panic” may be plausible because of her comments on Facebook but he didn’t know for sure. The charges would be up to the prosecutor.
An online petition to the Wellston Police Department asking for action has been started and as of Wednesday afternoon that petition had 1,595 signatures.
Ackley responded to the petition by saying, “What people need to understand is it’s not in our jurisdiction right now. It happened in Vinton County.”
Wellston Mayor Connie Pelletier posted on this petition and said, “She does not live in Wellston. She lives in another county... We have no jurisdiction. However, we are willing to help them with their investigation and we are doing so.”
Ackley ended by stating that the woman spoke with him Wednesday morning and told him that she was going to sign herself into an Athens mental health facility.
Because no charges have been filed, the woman’s identity has not been released.