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Charges dropped in animal cruelty case involving 21 dead cats

A chance for justice in the case of 21 dead cats could be “slim to none,” according to the investigating humane officer.

All 21 felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty against Tamara Rusz, listed in court documents as being from Mars, were withdrawn July 3, according to court records.

Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger said Wednesday that he has plans to refile against Rusz. He had no further comment.

“The charges were withdrawn by (Goldinger's office) because there was not enough evidence,” Butler County humane officer Janice Lawniczak said Wednesday.

Lawniczak said she received an email from Assistant District Attorney Robert Zanella on July 12 informing her of the decision and saying she needed to interview Rusz and gather more evidence.

She said she was not told at that time that charges would be refiled.

“My suggestion would be to write a letter to our DA to see why the felony charges could not be filed,” she said.

This is an article excerpt — pick up Thursday's Butler Eagle or subscribe online to read what else Lawniczak had to say about the charges.

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