Sunday, January 9, 2000

Connecticut: Joseph Loewy, 53, gets sweetheart deal from Judge Wendy Susco even though he's the reason a little girl's cat died of antifreeze poisoning

CONNECTICUT -- A Granby man accused of abducting a neighbor's cat and dropping it miles from home received a form of probation Friday that could wipe his record clean.

Joseph Loewy trapped the velvety black cat named Tiny late last year and drove it to the Glastonbury Industrial Park after an ongoing dispute with its owners. Tiny was found after two months on his own and returned home just before New Year's Day. He died a few days ago, apparently from antifreeze ingested during his wanderings.

The 53-year-old businessman claims he was protecting his own cat, Nate, who was repeatedly roughed up by Tiny, and his four horses, who were terrified of the prowling 16-pound neutered male.

But Loewy drew little sympathy from the abducted cat's owners, an interested neighbor and a few animal lovers who came from as far as East Hartland for Friday's sentencing on animal cruelty and larceny charges in Enfield Superior Court.

``It's made me ill. That animal suffered for over two months,'' said Dawn Leto of Glastonbury. ``I'm furious.''

Tiny's owner's -- Steven Fischer and Margaret Fiore Fischer -- strongly disagreed with Judge Wendy Susco's decision to grant Loewy accelerated rehabilitation, a form of probation used for first-time offenders. He was ordered to give $150 to an animal charity of his choice and cover Tiny's veterinarian bills -- approximately $375 -- since his return.

Tiny was the Fischers' 9-year-old daughter's pet.

Dressed in a blue blazer, tie and khakis, Loewy remained silent, while his attorney, T.R. Paulding of West Hartford, described him as a ``calm, rational and reasonable'' man.

``He recognizes what he did was wrong,'' Paulding said.

(Hartford Courant - Jan 8, 2000)