DELAWARE – The Delaware Attorney General’s Office has now launched an investigation to determine if a former Monmouth County man who tortured and killed cats in New Jersey is currently targeting animals in Delaware.
Nicole Byers, who is a spokeswoman for Attorney General Matthew Denn, confirmed Friday the agency has opened an inquiry into Anthony Appolonia, who is 58, a Dover, Del., resident who spent nearly five years in prison in New Jersey after he plead guilty to killing 19 cats in just two months.
Citing agency policy, Byers explained that she could not provide details of the inquiry.
The investigation comes in the wake of an NJ Advance Media report concerning Appolonia’s alleged adoptions of at least five kittens and cats in Delaware in the past 10 months. The report quoted residents who are saying they unwittingly gave him the animals after he responded to their offers for free or low-cost cats on Craigslist.
The cats in question are now nowhere to be found, and the former owners suspect they are dead. In the days since the report ran, another Delaware resident told NJ Advance Media she gave Appolonia her cat, whose name was Harley, back in September 2015. The woman, Alicia Dobies, provided screen shots of text messages containing Appolonia’s phone number.
Appolonia moved to Delaware after his release from prison all the way in back November 2012. He has denied accepting any cats at all, calling the allegations a conspiracy by animal rights activists to frame him. He could not be reached by phone Friday, and he did not respond to an email.
The investigation by the Attorney General’s Office augments one conducted by Delaware’s Office of Animal Welfare, which has is being harshly criticized for failing to look into the case with more vigor since it was made aware of the alleged adoptions in back January.