(Louisville Metro Corrections photo)
Alex Phelps, who worked for Humana, was arrested Dec. 30 and charged with four counts of torture of an animal resulting in serious physical injury or death. Detective Troy Thompson of Louisville Metro Police said there is a “good possibility” Phelps is responsible for several more cat mutilations.
Some Craigslist users also say that Phelps used the site to obtain cats. Jennifer Chappell has identified Phelps as the man who took three kittens she had advertised on Craigslist, claimimg that the kittens were for his girlfriend. Several other posters have contacted her to say they also gave Phelps cats after he replied to their ads.
During her interview with a local newspaper, Ms. Chappell mentioned that there were no “red flags” to indicate that Phelps intended to harm the animals.
Finding a home for animals is a serious matter, and there is no substitute for thoroughly screening individuals. You should never hand an animal over to someone who shows up at your door, no matter how nice they seem.
1) Never give away an animal using a "free to good home" ad
2) Ask for and check references, including a veterinary reference
3) Ask potential adopters to fill out an application and verify their information
If you need help finding a safe and loving home for animals in your care, contact local rescue groups for help. They may not have the space to take your animals, but they can often help you with the screening process if you agree to keep the animals in your home until an adopter is found.