Portage man sentenced to probation for killing and dumping cats

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PORTAGE (WKOW) — A Portage man was sentenced to three years probation for killing cats and dumping them on a rural Columbia County property.

Paul A Greiner, 74, faces a year in prison if he fails to comply with the requirements of probation and also was ordered to write a letter of apology.

Detectives from Portage Police Department and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant April 11, 2018 at the suspect’s house in Portage. The investigation revealed that Greiner was trapping these cats on his own property near the bird feeders. Three of the dead cats have been identified as being domesticated cats from the city of Portage.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office received a call March 22 from a town of Lewiston resident reporting that she found some dead cats on her property.

The caller, Liz Masterson, says she began discovering the bodies of cats on her land twelve miles from Portage.  Masterson says she found nine dead cats in a period of six weeks.  Masterson says there was no indication the cats had been hit by cars on a nearby road, or were feral.

A deputy started the investigation and noticed what appeared to be dead domestic cats were thrown in this person’s yard.

Then on March 25, 2018 Masterson reported to the sheriff’s office that another dead cat was found on her property.

On March 26, 2018 Masterson reported that she saw a man exit a vehicle which was stopped in the road in front of her place and throw a dead cat onto her property.

Masterson told investigators that she knew who this person was from previous contacts with him. Through the investigation, investigators learned that nine dead cats were discarded on her property. Initially there was no information on where these cats came from or how they died.

It was later learned that there were some residents in the city of Portage that were missing some of their domesticated house cats.

“I’m searching for my cat, I had him for 15 years, he’s been through a lot of things with us,” cat owner Tracy Harwood told the court Monday.  “And Mr. Greiner, you took my family member.”

“You sir, saying you had no knowledge of what you were doing, but you drove to a store, you bought traps, you bought poison, and you took my family member and disregarded out the car door like a piece of trash,” Harwood said.

“I want to see some sort of jail time,” Harwood implored before Greiner was sentenced.

“I sincerely apologize for my immature behavior,”  Greiner said.  “I am deeply sorry for my actions.”

William Egan said Greiner escalated property issues Greiner’s son had with Egan with the dumping of the cats on Egan’s property, after also firing a gun just outside Egan’s home in 2016.  Egan is Masterson’s father.  Egan said he believed Greiner received lenient treatment for the gun incident.

Greiner is a Vietnam War veteran and long-time state patrol trooper, who received a life-saving award just before his 1997 retirement.

Judge Brian Pfitzinger said Greiner’s PTSD and other mental health issues must have contributed to his animal-killing actions.

“Who harms innocent creatures?”  Pfitzinger said.

Pfizinger said his Greiner’s sentence took into account Greiner’s admission to treatment following his arrest and his lack of a criminal record.




Tony Galli

Tony Galli

Reporter, WKOW

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