Animal Shelter Torture Trial Begins

The cat had escaped a holding area and somehow got trapped in the wall

By Elvira Sakmari and Frank Heinz
|  Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011  |  Updated 1:56 PM CDT
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LIVE TWEETING: Animal Shelter Torture Trial

Metroplex Animal Coalition

Tyrone McGill, the former manager of Dallas Animal Services was indicted on felony cruelty, torture for preventing a cat from being freed from inside a wall at the shelter.

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Testimony in the trial of a man accused of leaving a cat to die inside a wall at the Dallas Animal Services shelter began Tuesday in Dallas.

Shelter manager Tyrone McGill, 61, is charged with felony cruelty after a cat died inside a wall at the shelter after somehow getting trapped.

McGill's indictment affidavit says he knowingly and recklessly tortured the cat by preventing it from being freed from the wall.

Fellow workers said they told McGill, for several days starting in early May, that the trapped cat could be heard "scratching, clawing, crying and jumping at the bottom of the wall," trying to free itself. McGill said he would rescue the animal, but never did.

Days went by and the cat was continually heard crying and scratching to get out from behind the wall.

One employee reported that she was told there would be no holes cut into the wall to free the cat. An affidavit indicates the cat died sometime after May 11.

On May 18, 2010, after workers complained about an odor that permeated the break room, employees cut the wall to remove the decomposing body of the cat.

McGill, who has been on paid administrative leave, faces two years in prison if he's convicted.

Testimony started Tuesday.

Follow the trial with reporter Ray Villeda, who is Tweeting the proceedings.

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