Man Facing New, More Serious Animal Cruelty Charges After Stabbing, Killing Pet Cat

PITTSTON -- A man from Pittston is locked up on serious animal cruelty charges, accused of killing a cat by stabbing it in the head.

Max Stevey, 24, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon after the animal was found dead last week.

Court papers show the cat, named Ginger, was found dead last week inside a dumpster outside the apartment building in Pittston where Stevey lives.

Humane Officer Wayne Harvey was notified at the Luzerne County SPCA and made contact with Stevey, the cat's owner.

“He tried to give it a flea bath and evidently it got out of his window, went off a roof about 12 feet down, hit its head, probably on the pavement down below,” said Officer Harvey. “And rather than take it to a veterinarian, to put it out of its misery.”

Officer Harvey says Stevey told him “…he took a knife and stabbed the animal underneath its jaw to hit its brain stem to eliminate its suffering.”

Stevey's next-door neighbor says he's complained to the landlord about Stevey's behavior.

“I just couldn't read him. He's like a wild card, pin-eyed, always walking around here in his underwear, sweating and like crazy stuff. He looked at me last week with that cat,” said neighbor Mark Serafin. “He was like I just got a cat and I literally said, 'Don't talk to me.' I just don't want to associate with him.”

Officer Harvey was able to file a felony charge against Stevey since the state just implemented harsher penalties for animal cruelty this summer.

Officer Harvey says Stevey may be the first in the county to face a felony charge, rather than a misdemeanor since the law was passed.

“The crime that he committed initially caused serious bodily injury and led to its death. That constitutes a felony of the third degree,” said Officer Harvey.

Workers at the apartment building where Stevey lives could be seen moving items from his place.

Stevey is at the Luzerne County Prison on $50,000 cash bail.

48 comments

  • TNR Researcher

    He did absolutely nothing illegal. In fact he would have been guilty of animal cruelty if he allowed it to continue suffering. You’ve never heard of them shooting a horse just because of a broken leg? Or how about all those McBurgers you gobble down obtained by your beef being killed by a bolt to the head. You’ve never had to “pith” a frog with a scalpel or dissection needle by severing the brain-stem to humanely kill it before dissection?

    You disney-cartoon-educated pavement-brained morons never cease to amaze.

    Further educational fodder for morons:

    pith — verb transitive
    1 a : to kill (as cattle) by piercing or severing the spinal cord
    b : to destroy the spinal cord or central nervous system of (as a frog) usu. by passing a wire or needle up and down the vertebral canal

    • Nature Advocate

      Actually, that argument resides somewhere between ‘urban myth’ and ‘tabloid features’. Kind of like “the vacuum effect” and “fed cats don’t hunt”:

      An analysis of 354 cases of serial murders found that nearly 80% of the perpetrators did not have a known history of cruelty to animals…In 2004, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Dept of Education looked at perpetrators of 37 school shootings. Only 5 of the shooters had a history of animal abuse.

      And one of history’s most FAMOUS mass-murderers was an ANIMAL-LOVER. Adolph Hitler. When he came to power he enacted the most comprehensive animal protection legislation the western world had ever seen. He forbade medical experimentation on animals. He used Jews and Gypsies instead.

  • magicmikexxsm

    why is it as a dog owner I have to have a license, have rabies shots for it, and walk it on a leash , but cats, the sky’s the limits run free all over other peoples yards, walk up and down alleyways which aggravate fenced in dogs..why not license cats?

    • no

      I agree, but i think its because the world doesnt view them as a “harm” but i agree they should also be licensed. ESPECIALLY if the owners are going to let them roam around, Collars w rabies tags and owner information as well.

  • Allison

    I was the owner of the cat. She was with him while I was living with my parents. Once Ginger “fell off the roof” he said that he thinks she hurt her paws. He did not mention anything about her head. He has changed his story many times. He is a compulsive liar and very dangerous.There is a lot more to this story but the truth will reveal itself in court.

    • CeeMe

      Why would you leave your pet with an idiot? One can tell just by looking at him, that he’s trouble. Use your head next time. Your own parents wouldn’t let you have the cat with you?

      • Allison

        I feel bad EVERY DAY that I put her in harm’s way. He said that he loved her. If he showed any kind of signs that he did not like her I would have taken her. I would remind him every day to make sure that she had food. It’s not hard to take care of an 8 year old cat. I’m sorry that I could not predict that he would abuse and kill Ginger.

      • Your fault!

        Allison, why do you Nepa women date losers? Of course you’re broken up now living with mom and dad, but you’re finally reaping what you sowed. This cat’s death is your fault! Shame on you! Now hurry off and go find ANOTHER loser while you’re still young.

      • El Ma

        YOUR FAULT! take a powder and calm down. We have all made errors in judgment and, if this gal really IS the former owner, I’m sure she’s having a horrible time dealing with her decision. Ease up, buttercup.

  • 😊

    I get that he killed an animal but what about harsher penalties for people who hurt children? That’s what’s wrong with society today. Don’t hurt an animal ( which I do agree with) but who cares what happens to children. They get in worse trouble for hurting animals than children. I just don’t understand that. Never will understand it.

    • El Ma

      People who can easily torture and/or kill animals will easily torture and/or kill children, as well. It’s all involved in intent, and I thoroughly agree that people who harm children should face extraordinary consequences. But, we can thank the “powers that be” for buying into the idea that people can “change” from doing horrific things into doing “good” things, and it’s just wishful thinking. (sigh)

  • III%

    Typical dirt bag maybe if the parents installed some morals instead of buying him off with video games and the newest sneakers maybe if the parents showed more discipline rather than saying oh no our son is perfect just as long as he doesn’t interfere with our lives and I’m sure it’s Society’s fault he’s a Meth head the pressure is to much on him but the bleeding heart society will coddle him now and teach him to be a pillar of the community

  • idgie

    elma is right on again..amazes me that people cant have concern for more than one thing at a timewe humans are not single minded

  • Grumpy old man

    Speaking of cats, I don’t feel bad at all for the people dealing with the wildfires in California. The USA would be a much better country if California burns to a crisp and New Jersey slides into the ocean.

    • Jamee

      You seriously need to find something better to do than try get under people’s skin on a local news site. There are better ways to get attention lol. Grow up

    • OzzyCoop

      California grows more than 13% of our nations food. They have over 77,000 farms and 25 million acres of farm and ranch land. In 2015 alone California pulled in $47billion which was $20billion more than it’s closest competitor. There are many many crops in the US that are only grown in California. They produce 2/3 of our nations fruits and nuts. If California ceased to exist you might find eating a little difficult. I won’t even bother you with a Google search about California’s tech industry.

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    I don’t believe the ‘flea bath / falling off the roof story’ for one second. I think he just killed the poor cat, threw its body in the dumpster, and got caught when his neighbors recognized it was his cat.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Okay so the cat gets away runs on the roof falls off gets hurt, how bad we don’t know, so instead of running up big vet bills he puts it out of its misery…..

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Wow. My father has put down our own pets for years.

    What about deer season when you wound a deer and have to slit its throat? Is that now cruelty to animals?

  • Just saying

    This guy is getting railroaded. He was putting the animal out of it’s suffering asap. Besides, he was giving the cat a flea bath, bad pet owners don’t give their pets flea baths.

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    Dress rehearsal for killing people. He should be put away until he’s too old to even take a stab in the dark at anything.

    • laura

      i was thinking the same thing when i read this. let’s hope he doesn’t get gartley as his judge. she has a bad history with cases like this that start with animal cruelty and end with people dead

  • El Ma

    This guy is a full-on psychopath and should never, ever be allowed outside the walls of an institution. There exists no medication, therapy, miracle, or wishful thinking that’s going to insert a conscience, remorse, pity, and empathy into a psychopath.

    • Jamee

      Actually you usually never expect the person’s that a psychopath. Their usually intelligent, charming and adapt to society. This man may have a mental illness like schizophrenia but I’m betting it’s more likely long term drug abuse.

      • El Ma

        JAMEE, there are certain hallmarks of psychopathology according to the varying levels and subcategories. Willfully killing or torturing animals is one of many, many indications that any individual might be a serious risk to society. From the descriptions of this guy’s behaviors, schizophrenia doesn’t sound like it’s a factor. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t. Whatever this person suffers from is going to cause him to be a danger to others, and no medication can alter that fact. Consult the DSM IV on this – the DMS V is so flawed that I’m amazed it was ever published.

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