Suspect: ‘Ultimately the cat was going to die’

CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Cedar Springs man who is being charged with felony animal cruelty causing death admitted to 24 Hour News 8 that he killed a cat in front of his neighbors, including some children.

“It was very disturbing,” said Larry McDaniel, who witnessed the cat killing. “I just seen cat come outside. The cat’s head was beat up and he came out and stomped the cat.”

According to the Cedar Springs Police Department, 35-year-old Michael Patrick Stackhouse killed a cat after it got into his mobile home at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates.

Officers responded there when Stackhouse’s wife called, saying the cat had jumped over a partial door barrier to their home. The woman later told police that the cat was dead and that her husband may have killed it.

Stackhouse told 24 Hour News 8 he tried to remove the cat after it first got into his home, but it ran to a bedroom and started to attack his dogs. He grabbed the cat, he said, and yanked it away.

“They were all scrapping. He grabbed the cat and yanked it out from underneath the bed and it smacked the door jam. And that cat, its fate was sealed before it left my house,” said wife Deborah Stackhouse.

Michael Stackhouse said he threw the cat out into the street and it started to twitch from he believed was a seizure, so he stomped on its head and killed it.

“Yes, I do feel bad. It was a living, breathing animal. I don’t like killing animals. I own two myself,” Michael Stackhouse said.

His wife said there were between 15 and 20 people outside yelling at her husband to “finish the job.”

“When you have 15, 20 different people out here screaming in your face, cursing you out telling you to finish the job, you don’t exactly think clearly about things,” she said.

Police said children and neighbors were watching as Stackhouse killed the cat.

Stackhouse told 24 Hour News 8 Friday afternoon that he is sorry he killed the cat with about a dozen people watching, but said it would never have happened if the cat hadn’t come into his home.

“I’m terribly sorry that it happened and I’m sorry that I did do that in front of God and everybody, but ultimately, the cat was going to die,” Stackhouse said.

“It all boils down to if she (the cat’s owner) had control over her pet and her animal, none of this would have taken place,” Deborah Stackhouse said.

Stackhouse was arrested but has bonded out of jail. The charge he faces is a four-year felony, but if convicted, Stackhouse’s prison time could be doubled because he already has a felony on his record.

“In my mind, this is the cat owner’s fault for not taking proper precautions to control her pet. I control mine and I expect everyone else to do the same,” Deborah Stackhouse said.

The couple said one of their dogs is about five pounds and the other is 12 years old. They said both dogs were injured in the cat attack.

Michael Stackhouse is expected to be in court for a preliminary hearing on April 21.

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