Barlow man charged with animal cruelty

BARLOW – A Barlow man has been charged with animal cruelty after brutally killing a stray cat he no longer wanted in his home.

Phillip S. McClay, 50, of 10830 Ohio 550 reported that he took the stray in a few weeks ago, but wanted rid of it because it was tearing up his home.

Steve Herron, manager of the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley, received a cruelty complaint Thursday evening and investigated with assistance from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

McClay reportedly broke the animal’s neck, beat it, and then shot it in the head with a shotgun.

“He basically admitted to everything he did. He couldn’t see anything wrong with it,” said Herron.

McClay claimed he did not take the cat to the humane society because “they are overcrowded and would have put it down anyway,” said Herron.

Herron emphasized that the humane society would never turn a cat away and that in a worst case scenario it has the ability to have the cat humanely euthanized.

“If people don’t feel like they can care for an animal anymore, obviously bring it to the shelter,” he said.

He said that anyone who suspects a case of animal cruelty or neglect should contact the humane society at 373-5959 and leave a message with a humane officer describing the situation and providing a contact number.

McClay has been charged with animal cruelty, a second-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.