Case Moves Forward Against Erie Man Charged for Drowning Cat in Bathtub
The case is moving forward against an Erie man charged with animal cruelty for drowning his cat in a bathtub in early November.
Richard T. Kesselring, 43, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning on a felony count of aggravated cruelty to an animal and misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal.
Kesselring was arraigned Nov. 21 and taken to the Erie County Prison with bond set at $10,000. He is still being held on a detainer.
The investigation started after Kesselring sent a text to his ex-girlfriend Nov. 7 that said "Mischief is dead," according to the criminal complaint. Another message said he killed "Mischief" by drowning him because he chewed his son's birthday presents.
The woman told investigators they got the cat in April 2019, and he agreed to keep Mischief when she moved out in August 2019 until she found her own place to live.
Investigators said Kesselring admitted to them he drowned the cat Nov. 6 because it chewed on his son's toys. Kesselring showed them a toy wrestling ring with the ropes around it missing, and a plastic children's toy crossbow with a nylon-type string that was chewed through, the criminal complaint said.
He told investigators he was going to take Mischief to an animal shelter but said he knew they had a lot of cats and though they would charge him a fee. Kesselring said he had not called any animal shelter for help.
He said Mischief's body was put in the trash can outside in his driveway and signed paperwork releasing the cat's body to the Erie Humane Society for cremation.
Investigators asked Kesselring to show his arms, which had two fresh scratches inside his right wrist area. He told them the scratches came from Mischief who fought him during the drowning.
After being asked by investigators, Kesselring said he did not realize what he did to Mischief was illegal.
Investigators noticed a five-month-old, striped cat in the apartment named Angel Bug during the interview and requested him to relinquish the cat to the Erie Humane Society. Kesselring refused, saying Angel Bug is his son's cat and Mischief was his cat, according to the criminal complaint.