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HCSO: Man arrested after admitting to shooting multiple cats

During the investigation, a witness told deputies they found a cat with several pellet wounds.
Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Osvaldo Garrido, 65, arrested for animal cruelty

TAMPA, Fla. — A 65-year-old man is behind bars after the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said he admitted to shooting multiple cats near his home. 

Osvaldo Garrido was booked into the Orient Road Jail on one count of aggravated cruelty to animals with a weapon, records show. 

Hillsborough County deputies responded on Nov. 12 to a house near Elm Way and Oaks Street near Town 'N' Country where residents told them they "heard shots and observed the suspect carrying a pellet rifle in front of his home."

A witness also told deputies that he took the rifle from the man, later identified as Garrido, and stored it inside his home without any resistance from the 65-year-old, the sheriff's office said in a news release. During that visit, neither the deputies nor neighbors were unable to find any animals suffering from a shooting and determined no crime was committed. 

One week later, however, detectives interviewed a witness in the same area who told them they found a cat with several pellet shot wounds, but it happened several weeks before then. 

"Upon further investigation, detectives obtained records from a local veterinarian who confirmed the cat sustained multiple injuries from a pellet gun," the news release reports. 

The following day, deputies were able to interview Garrido who admitted to shooting at multiple cats in the area, the sheriff's office says. A warrant was obtained and Garrido was arrested on Nov. 30. 

His bond was set at $7,500.

"I will not tolerate any act of animal cruelty in our county," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. "The suspect had no regard for the animals he injured and admitted to firing shots on various occasions. It's disheartening to know that there are individuals who intentionally harm animals."

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