Columbia County authorities have released the name of a Portage man facing a felony mistreatment of animals charge after allegedly depositing nine dead cats on a woman’s property.
Paul Greiner, 73, is facing charges of felony mistreatment of animals, catnapping, disorderly conduct and harassment. He is due to appear in court for a bond hearing Wednesday.
Greiner is suspected of trapping the cats in Portage and placing the dead cats off on a property north of the city as part of what detectives described as a neighborhood dispute. Authorities have not said how the cats died.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the situation on March 22 when a woman in the town of Lewiston reported finding dead cats on her property. Three days later the woman reported finding another cat, and on March 26 reported seeing Greiner throwing a cat onto her property.
The woman was able to locate the owner of one of the cats through a lost pet website before posting pictures of the cats to Facebook.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office worked with the Portage Police Department connecting the incident to cats missing from the Dunn Street neighborhood where Greiner lives. Of the nine cats found, three were connected to owners, although it is unknown how many of the cats were house pets, wild or stray.
When a Columbia County detective interviewed Greiner, according to search warrant documents, Greiner told the detective that he did not own any pets, and denied killing cats in Portage or dumping dead cats on Anacker Road.
Following a search of Greiner’s property Thursday, Portage detectives reported collecting a large live animal trap, a small live animal trap, black gloves, an open can of tuna and a DNA swab.
According to online Wisconsin court records, Greiner has no previous criminal record outside a 2016 case in which he entered a plea of no contest to a county forfeiture citation for using a firearm within 100 yards of a building.