Police: Monroe men purposely set fire to family cat

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MONROE, N.C.–Three Monroe men are facing felony animal cruelty charges after allegedly dousing a neighbor’s cat in lighter fluid, then setting it on fire.

The cat, named Midnight, has third-degree burns to at least 30-percent of his body.  Midnight is under the care of a veterinarian and expected to be okay.

According to Monroe Police, Stanislav Nadol, Rico Bennett and Clyde Mackey were “hanging out” on Sunday night at the Castle Road Apartments when it appears Bennett got mad at the cat, Mackey caught it and Nadol poured lighter fluid on Midnight and set him on fire.

“It was a black cat lit on fire,” said a witness who didn’t want to be identified.

Neighbors say the three men laughed about it.

Midnight belongs to Audrey Hailey and her 16-year-old daughter. They’ve had Midnight for about six months. He’s known to roam around the neighborhood.

According to WCNC, the family didn’t know if Midnight survived the fire. They looked for him but didn’t find him.

Hailey says Midnight came home around 3 a.m. on Tuesday after hiding underneath a dilapidated building a few yards from home.

“I called him and he came back to me and gave it some food and water and called police and they came and got him,” Hailey said.

Police arrested and charged Nadol with felony cruelty to animals.  He is in jail under a $1,500 secured bond.

Police are searching for the two other suspects.

Read more at WCNC