Middletown cat burning leads to felony warrant

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Butler County deputies asked Wednesday for the public's help locating a man suspected of dousing a cat in lighter fluid and setting it on fire outside of his Middletown home, creating a scene his neighbors can never forget.

"A lot of kids saw the cat running around outside," Sgt. Melissa Gerhardt said. "It was fully engulfed in flames. ... People hate this worse than they do homicides because these animals are defenseless. They can't fight back."

Kevin L. Sullivan, 32, is wanted on a charge of animal cruelty, a fifth-degree felony. Authorities said they investigated the incident the day it happened, but Sullivan lied to them about his involvement in the act.

Sheriff Jones said a Middletown police officer euthanized the animal to end its suffering.

"I don't understand people who harm or torture a defenseless animal," Jones said. "It is a very cowardly thing to do."

Anyone with information on Sullivan's whereabouts should call the Butler County Sheriff's Office at 513-785-1300. Anonymous tips can be sent by texting the word COPS to 274637.

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