Florida man accused of poisoning neighborhood dogs, cats with antifreeze

Deputies found three containers of antifreeze, several cans of tuna and fish-flavored rat poison

Jeremy Gordon Stromwall, 36, is facing four charges of animal cruelty. (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A man was arrested Wednesday after being accused of using antifreeze to poison neighborhood cats and dogs in central Florida, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Jeremy Gordon Stromwall, 36, of Dunnellon, is facing four counts of animal cruelty, the sheriff’s office announced in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Authorities said several cats and a dog in the neighborhood had died from similar symptoms since October.

According to detectives, the investigation started last December when a man told deputies that his pet, “Mr. Cat,” had died.

Deputies said the man told them that his cat started to get sick and had seizures the night before. The cat died at the Dunnellon Animal Hospital after undergoing treatment. “Veterinarians determined the cat likely had been poisoned,” the Facebook post read.

The other owner of “Mr. Cat” said he also had a dog named “Bella” that died in October with similar symptoms.

The sheriff’s office said another neighbor came forward to say five of her cats died from similar symptoms since October.

The sheriff’s office announced that an agricultural deputy performed a forensic necropsy on “Mr. Cat” and determined it died from ethylene glycol intoxication, likely from ingesting antifreeze.

According to the arrest affidavit, MCSO then brought in an expert from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine to help with necropsies on some of the other dead pets. After exhuming the remains of three pets, “Bella,” “Lil’ Peanut,” and “Tiger,” authorities determined they too had died from ethylene glycol poisoning.

Deputies said investigators found a bowl of tuna mixed with antifreeze outside Stromwall’s home. According to the sheriff’s office, the suspect made statements about harming cats in the neighborhood.

According to the arrest affidavit, one neighbor who lived in the northern part of the same duplex as Stromwall, said he noticed cats were “dropping like flies” in the neighborhood and said Stromwall was trying to get rid of cats before they attacked his chickens.

Upon executing a search warrant for Stromwall’s residence, deputies said they found three containers of antifreeze, several cans of tuna and fish-flavored rat poison.

MCSO said Stromwall told deputies he put out tainted food to poison the cats and tried to get them to eat rat poison mixed with cat food.

Deputies said after executing a search warrant, they located three containers of antifreeze, including a nearly empty container of antifreeze concentrate, multiple cans of tuna, and fish-flavored rat poison.

Deputies arrested Stromwall on a warrant.

He is being held at Marion County Jail and his bond was set at $8,000.

“As Sheriff, I am committed to investigating allegations of cruelty towards animals, including pets, livestock, and working animals,” said Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods in a Facebook post. “I am proud of the work that my deputies did in this case and am happy we have gotten some justice for Mr. Cat, Bella, Lil’ Peanut, Tiger, and their owners.”

About the Author:

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.