Attempt to poison cats makes dog sick

Posted at: 09/05/2013 5:14 PM
Updated at: 09/05/2013 5:19 PM
By: John McLoughlin

HALFMOON – He said he never meant to kill any animals, only to make them sick. But Thursday night a Halfmoon man will be arraigned on charges of poisoning a neighbor's pet dog.

Richard Fugaro, 59, says he’s been trying for months to get somebody to do something about two of his neighbor's cats that have been pooping all over his lawn. He says he contacted animal control, but got nowhere.

That's when he decided to mix up some rat poison with tuna fish and put that outside, hoping the cats would eat it.

“I didn’t want to kill nobody,” Fugaro said. “Maybe if they eat a little bit, they get sick.”

Fugaro lost his job three months ago. He stopped taking his medication for depression. He says these two cats were driving him nuts.

“To the frustration point where I didn’t know how to handle it any longer,” he said.

The town told him, unlike dogs, cats are allowed to roam free.

Fugaro bought some d-CON rat poison, mixed it with tuna fish and put it on a common area at Knox Woods, a development of townhouses.

“I understand that what I did was completely wrong,” Fugaro admitted.

Melissa Griffin was walking Shelby, her eight-year-old long-haired shepherd, when the dog started eating the poison-laced tuna before she could stop her.

“The told me to induce the vomiting and they told me to bring her in. They forced charcoal down her throat,” Griffin said.

One week later, Shelby appears to be okay, but the animal control officer says there could be long-term problems.

“The animal could have some toxic affects to some of the organs,” Beth Abramson said. “It takes the body a while to have the body collect it.”

Fugaro says the two cats are still pooping on his lawn.

He's under arrest for poisoning Shelby, the long-haired shepherd. Thursday he offered an apology to Griffin, which she accepted.