Mugshot of Paul Sowards
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Cobb cops: Man killed a kitten by dropping a rock on its head

Paul Sowards was sitting around the firepit of a Cobb County homeless camp one night last week when a small black-and-white kitten walked up, according to a police report.

Witnesses told police they don’t know why, but Sowards became agitated and shot at the cat three times with a BB gun.

At least one of the rounds hit, according to an arrest report, but the kitten was still moving. Witnesses told police Sowards then said “something about how it was not dead” and then “he picked up a rock from around the firepit.”

He walked over to the kitten and “maliciously dropped the rock on its head, killing it,” the police report said.

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Sowards, 54, has been in a Cobb County jail since his arrest the next day, Aug. 17, on a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to an animal, records show.

A witness, who reported the incident to police, said that the small kitten had done “nothing vicious.”

The camp was set up behind an auto repair shop on Cobb Parkway, about a mile and a half from WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

Sowards’ address is listed in the report as that of a nearby homeless shelter run by MUST Ministries.

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Officers found the cat’s body in a white plastic bag down a hill from the camp near some train tracks. A witness explained that another homeless person at the camp had done so after being “upset at the sight of its body,” the report said.

Investigators found a hole from a BB pellet in the left side of the carcass, and its head had caved in.

The body will be sent to Georgia State Crime Lab for a necropsy. Police did not specify if the cat was stray or someone’s pet.

Sowards was given a bond of $10,000, jail records show. As of Aug. 25.

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