Cat was alive in trunk marinating in spices
By Lou Michel
Buffalo NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Published:August 10 2010, 12:00 AM
Buffalo police rescued a cat from a Cheektowaga man who apparently was planning to make a meal out of his pet because he thought it was ill-tempered, authorities said Monday.
When Ferry-Fillmore District officers pulled over a car driven by Gary L. Korkuc on Sunday night during a traffic stop, they said they heard a cat crying from inside the trunk and investigated.
What they found has left animal lovers at the SPCA Serving Erie County in shock.
The cat, according to police, was in a cage “marinating” in a mixture of crushed red peppers, chili pepper, salt and oil.
“It’s disgusting. It surprises me every day what people are capable of when it comes to violence, whether it is animals or people,” said Gina M. Browning, the SPCA’s director of public relations. “I’ve never heard of anything like this before.”
Korkuc, 51, was arrested on one count of cruelty to animals by Officers Jerry Guilian and John Poisson, shortly after he was stopped on the 1100 block of Broadway at about 7:45 p. m. for allegedly passing a stop sign.
Police took the 4-year-old cat to the SPCA on Ensminger Road in the Town of Tonawanda, where Korkuc had adopted it May 11. He told police the cat had been “mean” to him, authorities said.
In condemning the treatment of the cat, whose name is Navarro, Browning read from an SPCA memo put together in part from information provided by the officers and shelter staff:
“Do not under any circumstances adopt to this man ever again. He claims he did not want the cat because it was ‘possessive, greedy and wasteful.’ That the cat got pregnant after ‘spaying,’ even though it was a neutered male. This man is a danger to animals. . . . was soaking cat in marinade to ‘cook.’ ”
Workers at the SPCA gave Navarro two baths Sunday night to clean the spices off and were letting him calm down before bathing him again, Browning said late Monday, adding that the cat is adjusting well.
“We can learn lessons in resiliency. He is purring away and getting ready for his next checkup. He’s looking around like, ‘What am I doing here?’ He might be put [back] up for adoption,” Browning said.
Praising Guilian and Poisson, she added, “Thank God that police heard him. Thank God those cops took the initiative. By all appearances that cat may have wound up dead.”
Korkuc was also charged with passing a stop sign and failure to signal. After his arrest, he was later released on an appearance ticket.
Navarro has black and white markings, weighs 12 pounds and is described as having a good disposition. Adoption hours today at the SPCA, 205 Ensminger, are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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