Provo man arrested for torturing, killing multiple cats

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MURRAY, UTAH (Nov. 17, 2016) -- The Humane Society of Utah responds to arrest and asks for maximum penalty 


Spencer Pedersen, a 26-year-old male, was arrested by Provo police officers Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2017, on reports of torturing and killing eight cats in Provo, Utah. A witness reported finding the dead cats in his backyard over the past few weeks. One cat was found with a rope around its neck and one in a nearby trash can near Pedersen’s residence. 


A search warrant was served on Pedersen’s home, car and phone. Dried blood spatter was found on a mat in his vehicle, and photos of tortured and bloody cats were found on his phone. Heroin was found in his home.


Pedersen was booked into Utah County jail on suspicion of three third-degree felonies of torturing a companion animal, one class A misdemeanor of heroin possession, and one class B misdemeanor of possession of drug paraphernalia. 


“We are at a loss for words to express our reaction to these gruesome activities,” said Deann Shepherd, HSU representative. “This anti-social behavior is scary since abuse of animals is highly correlated with human abuse.”


It is suspected that Pedersen may also be involved in an incident where police responded to a call of a cat on fire Oct. 15, 2016. The cat sustained severe injuries and had to be euthanized by a veterinarian.


The Humane Society of Utah plans to follow the case, and if it goes to court and Pedersen is found guilty, encourages the public to contact the prosecutor and ask not to plead down the charges before trial. “If found guilty, we hope Pedersen will be charged with all three third-degree felonies for the torture of a pet, and sentenced to the full extent of the law,” said Shepherd. “We hope the punishment fits the crime in this situation since the action by the court will set an example of what is the tolerable and acceptable treatment of pets in our society.”


According to arrest records, Pedersen has prior convictions for drug possession and arson for blowing up mailboxes.