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Schuylkill County News

3 Charged in Case of Stolen Cat in Schuylkill County

Police say trio stole cat in a backpack and threw it from a vehicle. Search for Catalina continues.

Three men have been charged in connection with an investigation into a stolen Maine Coon cat, named Catalina, earlier this year.

On Wednesday, State Police filed charges against the following three individuals:

  • Andrew Huber, 26, Pottsville
  • Ayden Spantak, 19, Cressona
  • Nathan Youst, 19, Schuylkill Haven

Each is facing felony charges of theft and animal cruelty and abuse after police say they stole a Maine Coon cat, stuffed it in a bag, and then threw it out of the back of a truck.

According to criminal complaints obtained by The Canary, back on Jan. 3, shortly after midnight, State Police-Schuylkill Haven was contacted by Dawn Troutman saying that her daughter’s boyfriend, Huber, who lives with Troutman and her daughter, Isabella Cruz, had his two friends at their house (Spantak and Youst) on New Year’s Eve 2023.

Troutman told police she believed that Huber and his friends (and co-workers) stole Catalina and were responsible for its disappearance. She said she had 3 different Blink surveillance videos that prove they were the ones who took the cat, which she originally believed got outside and ran away on New Year’s Day.

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In his affidavit, State Police Trooper Larry Reedy says in the videos “you can clearly see a black in color bag on the ground moving. You can hear a clear ‘MEOW’ of a cat in distress coming from the bag.”

Troutman identified two men walking by the bag in the video as Spantak and Youst. A third man who picked up the bag was identified as Huber.

Later on the 3rd, Reedy says he interviewed Huber at the Schuylkill Haven barracks. Huber told Reedy that he and Spantak and Youst were at Troutman and Cruz’s Cressona home until just before 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Spantak and Youst left just before 10 p.m. and then Spantak returned about a half-hour past midnight on New Year’s Day. They hung out until about 4 a.m. that night, Huber said.

During that interview, Huber said he didn’t know where the missing Catalina was located.

Cruz told police she then received a phone call from Youst during which he admitted to taking the cat and throwing it off the back of a truck “because she is always complaining about it.” Youst reportedly didn’t say where they had thrown Catalina.

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On Jan. 9, Huber was again interviewed at the Schuylkill Haven barracks. During that inquiry, Huber allegedly admitted to police that he took Catalina from the home where he was living in a black backpack and put it in the back of Youst’s vehicle. He said Youst and Spantak took the cat to Berne Drive and threw it out of the vehicle.

Huber said he went looking for the missing cat and went to Berne Drive where it was allegedly thrown but couldn’t find it.

Reedy says as part of the investigation into this incident, he saw another video in which Huber apparently grabs another cat, a gray and white one which goes by the name Fuzzy Monkey, by the neck. In that video, Reedy says the cat “is visually in a sign of distress.”

Social Media Outrage Over Catalina’s Disappearance

This case has gotten quite a bit of attention on Facebook in the last week.

Cruz initially posted to Facebook asking for help in finding Catalina, who she said likely had gotten out of the house and was missing.

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Since then, she and Troutman have been posting updates regarding the case, which has drawn an overwhelming response from the public.

In comments to The Canary on Wednesday, after charges were filed against Huber, Spantak, and Youst, Troutman said, “My family and I are completely overwhelmed with sadness. We just need to find her and get her medical attention or properly place her to rest. We’re thankful charges have finally been pressed.”

Troutman also thanked the community for reaching out to her and her daughter with their support.

“Ruth Steinert Memorial SPCA has been amazing. They haven’t left our side this entire time. The community has shown so much love toward finding our baby girl,” she said.

Photo: Catalina/Dawn Troutman

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  1. Chris

    January 10, 2024 at 8:20 pm

    Ok, sometimes you have to take responsibility for the people you are bringing into your home and family. I don’t care if they are friends, boyfriends, friends of friends, whatever. If u have pets, keep them in another room, separated from those strangers. You cannot trust everyone, obviously.

  2. D Hoffman

    January 10, 2024 at 9:28 pm

    I agree that after seeing the video of the cat Fuzzy Monkey being choked in a hanging position and the kicked dog video then the horror of what Huber did to Catalina he should not be allowed in that home or the animals need to be removed.

    • Cathy

      January 14, 2024 at 3:22 pm

      I’ve watched the videos and the daughter covered for her boyfriend didn’t mention he was involved just the other two I don’t understand why she isn’t being charged with something and are you telling me that she didn’t know any of this was going on that’s impossible to believe, and any pets should Have been removed immediately until the police investigation is over.

  3. It's me

    January 11, 2024 at 11:41 am

    Are these people in jail? I have cats. If they did this to any of my cats, there would be consequences. How can people be so cruel!

  4. Does it matter

    January 11, 2024 at 5:42 pm

    I think your daughter needs to get better taste in her boyfriends and those dirt bags need to be thrown down a mine shaft and then cover it up!!! Pieces of shit!!!!

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