EXCLUSIVE: Stolen and abused cat back in owner's hands

    A Benton County man has been reunited with the cat that was taken from his home on Friday, February 1st. (CBS2/FOX 28)

    Spencer Kimm's cat Gladys back in his arms. The Blairstown man’s beloved cat, who had been stolen from him Friday, is now home safe.

    "The second I saw her, I was like a kid in a candy shop," Kimm said Wednesday.

    As CBS2/FOX28 news first reported Tuesday, Benton County Sheriff's Office believes Chad Toney, 30, had sent graphic, disturbing photo and video messages to Kimm's sister, showing the animal being shoved in the snow, and being handled roughly.

    Kimm says he believes the man responsible is Toney, who he believes was using the cat as a way to get with Kimm's sister to talk to him. Kimm asked him to give the cat back, but after he refused, he said he'd post about it on social media.

    "I even sent it to him first," said Kimm. "And he's like, do it. See what happens."

    Kimm's friend, Dillon Franzenburg, was helping try to locate the cat.

    "We gave him a choice: give us the cat, or go viral. And he said go viral," said Franzenburg.

    The post did go viral, being shared more than 3,000 times before Kimm took it down, after multiple threats to Toney and his family. Kimm says Toney's family was cooperative in helping him retrieve the cat, and around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Kimm went to Toney's parents' home and got Gladys.

    "She was really dirty," said Kimm. "We gave her a bath right away."

    "Doing that to animals is not right," said Franzenburg. "It should be way more than a misdemeanor like it is in Iowa."

    Chief Deputy John Lindaman with the Benton County Sheriff's office, says at this time, they don't believe Toney is a danger to the public.

    "I believe there have been incidents of him accused of assault in the past, but those seem to be more of a domestic nature," said Lindaman.

    The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is still currently looking for Toney. If you have any information, call 319-472-2337.

    This is a developing story. Stay with CBS2/FOX28 for any updates.

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