MUSKEGON, Mich. – Several people in a Muskegon neighborhood claim that a man who lives in the area has bragged on several occasions about killing cats. They said he sets traps for them in his front yard.
FOX 17 was contacted by a woman who said she’s concerned about how many pets have gone missing in the Lakeside neighborhood. She pointed us to the Facebook page ‘Fans of Lakeside Neighborhood in Muskegon.’ There, several people posted about the traps they’ve observed in Craig Harpe’s yard, who lives on Blodgett Street.
A concerned pet owner, who doesn’t want to be identified, said Harpe threatened to kill her dog as she was walking her down the street in front of his home.
“I said you cannot shoot my dog it’s against the law. He said ‘oh no, I don’t shoot them, I’ll use a baseball bat and beat them to death.’ He told me he’s killed 14 dogs in the past 30 years that he has lived there.”
She said the incident prompted her to file a police report.
Other nearby neighbors claim they’ve also heard the man bragging about killing cats.
We contacted Harpe about the allegations. Although he admitted to making these statements, he said he’s never actually harmed any cats or dogs.
“I don’t bait cats. I’m not trying to trap cats, and I don’t kill cats,” Harpe said.
The traps, Harpe said, are for racoons, squirrels and possums. He said over the years, squirrels have destroyed his home and he pointed to a hole where he said they nest. He said that he uses live traps and releases the animals into the wild.
“Where everybody’s getting confused, they think I’m taking their pets out here,” Harpe said. “I’m not.”
While in the neighborhood, another person flagged us down, who told us he’s also concerned about the purpose of Harpe’s traps.
“I personally witnessed a cat trapped and I saw him take the cat from the trap, take it into his garage and never came back out with the cat,” Derek Wilson said. “People are very, very upset and very concerned.”
Harpe said people have been stopping by his house for the past few days and that they’ve confronted him about the traps. He said the signs placed in the neighborhood, as a warning to others, have ruined his reputation.
“I’m going to press charges and then I want her to go on the internet again and publicly apologize to me and straighten out that I don’t kill cats,” Harpe said.
Still, the woman who said Harpe threatened her dog, tells FOX 17, she’s not convinced.
“He seemed to be quite proud about it and talked a lot about how that was his property line and no one should cross over it,” she said.