Cat poisoner to serve 90 days

By LEON BOGDAN, Press Enterprise Writer

BLOOMSBURG — A Berwick man who used antifreeze to kill more than a dozen of his neighbor's cats will spend 90 days in jail, a judge ruled Monday.

He was one of three people in court on animal-cruelty charges, including a man who killed a puppy by throwing it against a chair and another defendant who poured scalding water on a cat.

As for the antifreeze case, Franklin Snyder, 27, said he's "not proud" of poisoning and killing 17 cats.

But he says dozens of felines were damaging his property and getting into his Line Street home, and no one would respond to his requests for help.

He doused some cat food in antifreeze only because he was at his wits' end, he told the court.

Animal control officer Kathy Barrett, though, said Snyder never contacted her about a cat problem.

Barrett said she could not legally remove all the animals if she had been notified, but she may have cited the defendant's neighbor.

Snyder, employed as a landscaping laborer, said he also called the SPCA but was told "they wanted $50 to $60 per cat" to remove them.

He estimated neighbor Erica Stevens kept up to 42 cats.

"I'm not happy about it," Snyder said. "I don't think it's funny. And I don't think people having 42 cats is that funny."

President Judge Scott W. Naus said "some imprisonment is appropriate" due to the "awfulness" of the cats' deaths.

Snyder was also fined $300 and granted work release during his jail time, which is set to begin Saturday.

More cruelty

Two other defendants from the Berwick area were in court Monday pleading guilty to animal cruelty.

Charles E. Hubbard, 33, of 17 Lark Drive told a judge he was dealing with anger-management issues when he threw a 6-week-old mixed-breed puppy against a chair in November 2007.

The dog, which belonged to both he and his wife, died of severe injuries.

Hubbard said he is on medication to control his anger, but was also on "medicine" when the animal was killed. He faces up to two years in prison.

Meanwhile, William R. Brenneisen, 23, of 54 Sparrow Drive said he was having problems with a neighbor at Berlin's Trailer Court when he poured boiling water on a cat to "make it go away" last March 19.

Both Hubbard and Brenneisen was ordered back for sentencing.

Leon Bogdan covers courts and police and can be reached at 784-2121, extension 1307, or by e-mailing him at