A Maple Grove man has been charged in the brutal beating of his girlfriend's cat, which had to be euthanized, as well as the disappearance of three other cats she owned. One was a kitten that he allegedly hurt by dabbing pepper spray in its eyes before it disappeared from the girlfriend's Eagan home.
Ryan J. Wolcott, 24, was charged in Dakota County District Court with abandonment of one or more cats, which is a misdemeanor, and with mistreatment of an animal, a felony. He admitted squeezing his girlfriend's female cat hard and hitting her against the side and bottom of a bathtub and possibly the nozzle in November, according to court documents. His girlfriend found the cat unresponsive.
Wolcott's girlfriend brought the cat, Mayzie, to an Eagan veterinary clinic and told clinic officials that she thought her boyfriend could be responsible. The cat was placed on a respirator, then euthanized. A necropsy, or animal autopsy, found head injuries and deep abdominal bruising. In early December, the veterinarian shared those results with the Eagan animal control officer and an investigation began.
The woman, whose name was not disclosed in court papers, told Eagan police her boyfriend had been living with her since early 2008. Two other cats disappeared during that time. Then she got the kitten, which also vanished.
She told police that Wolcott had told her that he was trying to cut the kitten's nails but when it resisted, he sprayed pepper spray on his fingers and dabbed the kitten's eyes. She said that Wolcott told her he took that cat to a veterinary clinic, where it was destroyed. But he later told police he gave the cat away. Wolcott also told police he let the other two other cats go in an Eagan field.