Cat Reportedly Trapped in Cage and Shot in the Head Deserves Justice

Target: Brian D. Seaman, District Attorney of Niagara County, NY

Goal: Charge woman allegedly involved in caging and killing of stray cat with animal cruelty.

Another day, and another alleged animal killer gets a slap on the wrist from a lax justice system. New Yorker Timothy VanBuren reportedly admitted that he shot and killed a stray cat whom he had trapped in a cage. VanBuren claims he shot the cat in the head under orders from his landlord. Allegedly, the landlord wanted stray cats removed from her property and initially hired a local animal welfare agency to secure the cats in cages, spay and neuter them, and then release them. The agency apparently later discovered that one of the cages left on the premises had been used by the landlord, Judy Wagner, to trap a cat–and that Wagner confessed to telling her tenant to then kill the animal.

VanBuren was charged with aggravated animal cruelty. Upon appearing in court, however, he was given an adjournment contemplating dismissal. This action means that as long as he does not engage in any known criminal activity for the next few months, the charges will be dismissed with no penalty. As if this non-punishment was not injustice enough, the landlord who allegedly had knowledge of and contributed directly to this killing faced no charges at all.

Sign the petition below to demand these local legal professionals start taking animal cruelty cases seriously.


Dear Mr. Seaman,

The animal cruelty allegations brought to your attention through Cat-by-Cat were deeply disturbing. Two people allegedly confessed to a plot to entrap, shoot, and ultimately kill a stray cat for no other reason than that the cat existed. While Timothy VanBuren was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, he ultimately received what amounted to a dismissal of the charges.

This lacking penalty, combined with the reported treatment of animal rescue employees who attempted to attend the proceedings, signals an extremely troubling legal approach to animal cruelty cases in Royalton and well beyond. You can at least partially rectify this seeming injustice, however. Charge the woman who allegedly instigated this deadly incident, Judy Wagner, with aggravated animal cruelty as well. Moreover, vigilantly pursue a punishment that fits the reported crime.

The legal system claimed they wanted to send a message in this case with the initial cruelty charge. Send the lasting message that any deliberate act of cruelty against another living being will never be condoned nor ignored.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jhency Xang


  1. May they reap what they sow. Things have a way of coming back to you – both kindness and cruelness. Be careful of which one you dole out.

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