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Sheriff’s Deputy Faces Felony Animal Cruelty For Fatally Stomping Girlfriend’s Cat

Published: September 09, 2022 at 03:05 PM Author: Penny Eims

Tampa, Florida – A Florida sheriff’s deputy is facing a felony animal cruelty charge for killing his girlfriend’s cat, Axel. The Tampa Police Department identifies Eric Harris as the man who stomped his former girlfriend’s three-year-old cat to death in late August.

According to the authorities, Harris attacked the cat on August 21, after getting into an argument with his then-girlfriend of six months. The woman left the apartment and returned the next day, finding her two cats cowering in crates. After the heated argument, Harris’s girlfriend left the apartment but when she returned at around 7 pm the next night, she found both cats hiding in their crate. When she tried to take out her 3-year-old cat Axel, she found him with broken and bleeding toenails. A report by the police claimed Axel was acting weird and unable to walk.

Axel was rushed to a Sarasota veterinarian after his owner discovered broken, bloodied toenails and witnessed his inability to stand. At the veterinarian, the gravity of Axel’s injuries was apparent and the veterinarian recommended that he be transferred to an emergency animal hospital. But there was nothing that could save the cat, and he died the same day. Because of the severity of Axel’s injuries, the veterinarian contacted the authorities to report suspected abuse.

Detectives questioned Harris, but he denied any wrongdoing; claiming that Axel was “fine” when he was with him.

A necropsy performed on August 26 by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) revealed how much damage had been inflicted on Axel’s small body. The Tampa PD detailed the grim findings:

“Axel suffered severe hemorrhaging and bruising to internal organs, facial injuries, including a missing tooth, and markings were found on his body indicating that he had been stomped. His cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma.”

Please add your name to the petition today. Eric Harris’ excuse for his brutal attack on Axel was anger because the cats got on the furniture and counters; that anger was taken out on Axel in the worst way possible. A grown man viciously stomped a small, fragile cat to death.

We the undersigned demand that Eric Harris is held responsible for fatally attacking a cat named Axel. We are petitioning for Harris to receive the maximum punishment allowable by law for his felony charge of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals. At sentencing, we hope to see Harris prohibited from owning or residing with animals in the future. 

*The Pasco Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Harris has been terminated; he was promptly released from jail after posting bond.

Note: Individuals are presumed innocent until they have been found guilty in a court of law. Animal Victory relies upon the authorities and the court system to determine guilt or innocence.

News: Press Release



Pasco News

Update 1/11/2023: The courts have scheduled a disposition hearing on 2/28/23 at 8:30 am with Judge Robin Fuson at the Hillsborough County Criminal Court Room 14, 401 N Jefferson St. Tampa FL, 33602 Harris

Update 12/2/2022: Animal Victory has learned that the next court date, titled ‘Disposition’, is set for 12/14/2022 at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 14.

Update 9/19/2022: Arraignment scheduled for 10/04/2022 at 1:30 pm in courtroom 14. Animal Victory has sent 14,020 signatures along with our petition to State Attorney Lindsey Hodges.

Summary Case Info

Sheriff's Deputy Faces Felony Animal Cruelty For Fatally Stomping Girlfriend's Cat

16,985 signatures = 85% of goal


16,985 Todd Bauswell Jan 30, 2023
16,984 Carmen Verdugo Jan 30, 2023
16,983 Heather Sprey Jan 30, 2023
16,982 Mary Barber Jan 30, 2023
16,981 Sharon Higa If found guilty, he needs to be prosecuted and jailed to the maximum amount of time! Jan 30, 2023
16,980 Waltena Olivares Jan 30, 2023
16,979 Kim Bouquio Jan 30, 2023
16,978 Etta M Kadayso Jan 30, 2023
16,977 nagy peter eveyone who is arrested for asnimal abuse should face public execution. Jan 30, 2023
16,976 Maja Kominko Jan 30, 2023
16,975 Jean Chandler Jan 29, 2023
16,974 Karen Bolton Jan 29, 2023
16,973 Connie Goodall Jan 29, 2023
16,972 Erica Wilson Jan 29, 2023
16,971 Debra Gamble Jan 29, 2023
16,970 Terri Blackburn Eric Harris is a cruel vicious evil man. He should rot in prison for what he did. The abuse cruelty and death of the cat shows how vicious he is! He needs to be severely punished for what he did! Jan 29, 2023
16,969 Phil Tamer Jan 29, 2023
16,968 Paula Giganti Jan 29, 2023
16,967 Sharon Stanway Jan 29, 2023
16,966 Jo Rae Richardson Jan 29, 2023
16,965 Erin Sackmann Jan 29, 2023
16,964 Beverly Johnston Jan 29, 2023
16,963 Natasha Williams Jan 29, 2023
16,962 Wendy Ruhland Jan 29, 2023
16,961 Terry Wormley Jan 29, 2023
16,960 Donna Hinckley Jail for they can stomp him!!!! Jan 28, 2023
16,959 Michael Ciocci Take his job , first off. Then prosecute with felonies. Jan 28, 2023
16,958 Andrea Schreyer Jan 28, 2023
16,957 Sarah McAvoy Jan 28, 2023
16,956 Caoimhe Malloy Jan 28, 2023