A letter to the man poisoning animals on our street

by Janelle Hanchett


Dear Animal Killer,

So you’ve successfully killed 5 cats and one small dog. In the middle of the night you put blue fly poison in Tupperware containers around our neighborhood and what success you’ve had! Bravo, you fucking waste of human life.

I just want to tell you that one of the cats you killed belonged to my little boy, Rocket. He is 6 years old and had his young kitty, “Play-Doh”, for about 6 weeks when we found him dead in our backyard, with a blue substance dribbling out of his mouth.

We thought it was a fluke. We thought he got into antifreeze or something. Though intentional poisoning crossed our minds, we didn’t really think it possible. We have such nice neighbors. The police told us yesterday that all the animals who have died (4 other cats and one Miniature Pincer) have been found with the same blue substance coming out of their mouths.

A year ago, when Play-Doh died, we told our son about it and he shook with grief. We didn’t tell him he could have been poisoned. We told him he died because he was sick.

Because how the fuck are we going to explain that YOU EXIST? That YOU KILLED his animal because you murder things for fun, or revenge, or insanity, or whatever it is that makes a person obliterate life at random.

Do you realize you’re killing pets? Do you realize you’re killing the little animal friends of children and old people and everyday people who cuddle with those animals and curl up with them when they’re sick and watch T.V. with them on their laps and give them a pat when they come home from work each day?

Do you realize all that?

They say you’re a drunk and get into dark places and kill cats.

I say get some help you worthless fuck.

Because the poison you’re using is supposed to be used only in auction yards and livestock farms – where no children or small animals are present –because it burns human skin and can kill children if ingested, even in tiny amounts.

So one of these days you could maim or kill a kid, Einstein. A real, live kid.

Does that mean more to you? Do you care more about that? Or is that your next step?

I now live in fear. I’m terrified of my kitty’s escape when I’m not looking. I’m terrified my little escape artist Houdini dog will get out and get into that poison and I will lose my beloved dog.

And my kids, when we walk to the park.

What about them.

And you, the fact that you are there, sitting in your house, plotting how to get your poison out, unseen. Sitting there alone with your booze, in darkness, in misery, working on ways to share your pain with the world.

With all of us.

Even little boys and their kittens. Or my baby.

Do you feel better after it happens? When you see them dead, are you relieved? Do you lie in bed at night glowing with joy at the success of your missions? Are you satisfied?

Or do you know on some level this isn’t the person you were meant to be? Do you sense somehow there is some other way to live? Do you feel desperation in the face of your own evil, of the destruction you cause, of the tears you pull from the eyes of people around you?

Either way, I have an idea. The next time you’re feeling down, and the whiskey has taken your wits and your soul, try a little fly poison.

I hear it’s great for the complexion and digestion, and works wonders on primitive insects.

So it should be perfect for you.

I know, that wasn’t very nice.

But you’ve made yourself pretty hard to love. I guess I’ll try. Since you live right next door to me. They say it’s you. The man who LIVES NEXT DOOR TO ME, who I know pretty well, as my quirky drunk neighbor.

So when you emerge from your drunken abyss and chat with us on Sunday afternoons again, I will try to see through your evil to the baby your mother saw, the newborn she cradled in perfect adoration. In wonderment of his smallness and innocence.

And maybe I’ll explain that there are places for people like you to get help, people who will help you regain your sanity and spirit.

But first I’m going to watch you like a hawk and when I catch you I’m going to call the police and hope they haul your sorry ass away.

For a very, very long time.


  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife

    This is quite easily one of the sickest things I’ve ever read. I cannot fathom what would prompt a human being to intentionally harm another creature; especially a defenseless creature like a cat or dog. Janelle, I hope you do catch him and he gets the punishment (and the help) he sorely needs.

  • dani

    Fuck. That’s intense. I don’t know what I’d do.

    My mom told me a story about a guy who lived in her neighborhood when she was little. He would put ground up glass in hamburger meat and feed it to dogs that would bark.

    Messed up degenerate fucks. It’s scary how many are roaming the Earth. Maybe you should bake him some brownies made with Exlax. See how he likes being poisoned.

  • Kateri Von Steal

    Get him Janelle! Get him!

    God forbid your (or anyone else’s) kids fall victim to this.

    What a sick individual.

    Keep us all posted on this.

  • Quiet Monsters

    What a cowardly bastard! You are right–only a sick fuck of a mind does this to things that are smaller and more helpless than he is. I am so sorry you have to be right beside the guy. He does need help, that’s for sure. Sorry Rocket lost his kitten to that jerk.

  • Michael Ann

    OMG, I couldn’t even read this whole thing I was starting to shake and get choked up. I’m so sorry about your kitty and the other animals too. I hope you catch him Janelle. Or someone does. I’m not sure I could let him live if I saw him doing this. I would turn into a murderer myself.

  • Shan

    Holy crap, I cannot even imagine…

  • Jennifer

    Was having a conversation about karma last night with the family. My husband firmly believes that karma catches up to people and we just have to sit idly and wait. My mother said, “Sometimes it’s okay to give karma a helping hand.” *smirk*

    So sorry about the kitty. I just cannot even imagine. I wish surveillance video equipment weren’t so expensive…

  • Lisa

    You are a lot more compassionate than I would be. I’m not even going to write what I would do if I had any idea who this person might be. I do have an idea though, in terms of making sure this person (whoever it is) goes away for a very long time: Video camera. It’s perfectly legal to videotape any public area, or any place easily visible from a public area. So you could set one up on say, your front porch, aimed at the house of anyone else, or out into the street. I am thinking the kind that is hard-wired to a vcr, not a hand-held one someone might steal. If you do get evidence of suspicious activity, that will hold up a lot better in court than saying you saw him do it. . . . and it also means you don’t have to stay up all night watching (although you will have to put in a little time reviewing the tapes). Good luck. I know sick f*$#@ like this exist but most of the time I try very hard to forget that. Sorry about your (Rocket’s) kitten and everyone else’s dear pets too. Get him Janelle.

  • eringirl

    I was all angry and outraged and yelling “what a sick fuck.”

    Then you got to the part about it being your neighbor and I literally stopped reading. What a violation… I don’t even know what it violates. Feeling of security? Of trust? Of the time you’ve spent building relationship with him?

    I am floored by your compassion for him. Through your anger you will still afford him dignity. There are no words for that.

  • Lisa

    On the cheap end, you can get a “Nanny cam” at Harbor Freight or Fry’s for $30 – $50, it can be wired to input to your VCR (or I think to a DVD but not sure). Now obviously the night vision on that type is pretty much nonexistent, if you want decent night vision you are going to pay more. But a basic one is pretty cheap and there are a lot of options under $100. If you need more info just get me your email we’ve looked into this a lot. I was also thinking, if the type of fly poison this person is using is hard to obtain (has to be special-ordered or is sold only in certain stores), that might be a lead on finding out who it is. . . if it is only sold in one or two stores locally. . . . seriously, take in a couple pictures of suspects and let them know your children are at risk. If they can make a match, let law enforcement know immediately. This is eating at me. Good luck.

  • The UDG

    Ugh, shouldn’t have read this after I ate. You know how I feel about my girls and I can’t imagine being a parent of two legged babies and fearing for them. I hope some of that blue substance somehow works its way into his Saturday morning coffee.

  • Stacie

    Get the video equipment. I’m serious. This is not ok. That man is going to know your cousin and your whole f#@*ing family before he gets anywhere near those babies!!!

  • Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama

    This made me barf. I dealt with this all the time when I lived at the river (my yard backed up to the levee). People got sick of all the feral cats and set out rat poisen. This is how I ended up with 14 cats who now have their own 300 square foot house. Yep.

  • Cheryl

    I read this before I went to bed last night and hardly slept. I cuddle up with my chihuahua every night and can’t imagine what would happen if someone pulled that on us. I forget how easy it is for people to be evil. I like to try to see the good in people, but I don’t know what I would do if there was an animal murderer in my neighborhood, much less next door. It definitely wouldn’t be as diplomatic as what you said. Someone threw a good size rock over our fence the other night and hit our sliding glass door, I was thinking how easily it could have hit and killed one of our small dogs if they’d been out there waiting to be let in, the thought of them being poisoned never even occurred to me, there’s one more thing to be afraid of!! God help us!

  • Rebekah

    Was he ever caught and arrested ? Or were you able to move away ?

  • Benjamin Isaac

    This should be an eye opener for everyone.
    Cats are killing our birds and wildlife at an alarming rate. They’ve already made 33 species extinct and they will make all birds and wildlife extinct if we don’t stop them.
    If poisons were put out on boulevards everywhere in an attempt to kill the feral cats, that would be a good idea, then we could save our wildlife, because cat owners would learn to keep their cats inside and safe. There in lays your answer keep your cats inside.