Vienna man charged with killing neighbor’s cat, who he said bothered birds


VIENNA TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – A Trumbull County man is facing criminal charges, accused of killing his neighbor’s cat in front of two kids in Vienna Township.

“It’s our belief that this could have been handled differently,” said Vienna Police Chief Bob Ludt.

The shooting happened behind a home on Sodom Hutchings Road. The animal’s owner said he came outside after hearing a gunshot to find 26-year-old Phillip Berg, Jr. standing over his dead cat.

According to a police report, Berg told him, “I knew this was your cat.”

Just this week, charges were filed in the case and now Berg — who police said admitted to the shooting — will have to go before a judge.

“He was tired of this animal wandering around his property and that he believed it to be a nuisance animal. It was bothering his birds around his bird feeder so he shot it,” Ludt said.

Police said Berg shot the cat, which was about 25 yards away from him at the time, from his own yard.

Berg now faces two misdemeanor charges, including cruelty to animals and prohibitions concerning companion animals.

It’s been almost two years since Vienna police have dealt with a similar case.

In November of 2015, a black lab puppy named Tucker was shot and later passed away, causing public outcry. However, charges were dropped in that case.

Ludt is offering advice to people dealing with a similar situation.

“Call us, let us come out, let us evaluate the situation. Let us see if we can help you and remedy the problem, versus taking actions on your own and maybe getting yourself in a lot of trouble.”

Berg is set to be arraigned in Girard Municipal Court on August 15.