Southeast Austin man arrested for shooting, killing cat with BB gun

A southeast Austin man has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty after Austin police say he shot and killed a cat with a BB gun.

Hien Tran, 66, has been charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals (kill), a third-degree felony. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Austin police officers were dispatched to a home on Mellow Hollow Drive in Southeast Austin for an animal urgent call saying the complainant's neighbor had trapped a cat in a cage and shot it.

An officer arriving on the scene said he heard the sound of an air rifle being shot from the backyard of a home. The arrest affidavit says the officer saw through the crack of a fence a man resting a brown air rifle against the side of the house and then placing a small black and white cat inside a plastic garbage bag.

The man, later identified in the affidavit as Tran, told officers he shot the cat with a BB gun because it was tearing up the cushions on his patio furniture. He said he captured the cat in a metal cage and then used the air rifle to kill it.

Officers saw a metal animal trap, a can of cat food, the dead cat wearing a collar sticking out of a white trash bag and a brown air rifle in the backyard, says the affidavit.

Officers told Tran it was illegal to kill a cat in such a manner, and Tran told them he had called animal control several times about cats ruining his furniture, but nothing was done as he didn't have any proof, says the affidavit. When asked what he planned to do with the body, Train said he was going to put it in the trash can.

Animal Control was called to the scene and took custody of the cat. Officers also spoke with a neighbor who witnessed the incident and recorded it on a cell phone.