Teen charged with animal cruelty in killing of cats

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 14-year-old has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty in connection with a series of cat killings in a Springfield neighborhood.

Police said Toby Gaines tortured and killed a family's cat by dousing it in lighter fluid and setting it on fire on Aug. 11 near the family's home on West 9th Street.

According to the arrest report released by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Toby was a suspect in a burglary recently and when officers found him, he had two cats in his possession, both with severe injuries to their back legs.

When police started questioning Toby about last month's Springfield case, officers said he admitted to killing the cat, which was named Camus (pictured). 


According to the report, Toby said he didn't have a comfortable home environment and got mad when his mother wouldn't let him play with his Xbox. Police said the teen admitted to getting into fights and sometimes hurting animals to relieve his anger.

According to the report, when officers asked Toby if he had ever killed a cat, he replied: "Killing a cat is like killing a sheet of paper. It is nothing to kill a cat."

In a written statement, Camus' owners said they were very relieved about the arrest.

"We sincerely hope that he gets the mental health counseling that he obviously needs," the family statement read.

The family had created a reward fund to help try to catch Camus' killer. The statement said that fund will now be donated to the Springfield Animal Care and Rescue Club.

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