Do Not Adopt Warning Spreads for Accused Cat Abuser

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Ethan Weibman has been charged with animal cruelty crimes and is the subject of Do Not Adopt To warnings spread via Facebook and Craigslist to shelters, rescuers and the public. At the very least, cats he adopts do not fare well and the warnings are thus warranted. The warnings are also important because Ethan Weibman is thought to be a serial abuser.

The Ethan Weibman case goes back to March, when he and a girlfriend adopted a cat named Lucy from the Baltimore Maryland SPCA, then brought her dead body back two days later and wanted to adopt another cat. Red flags went up and the shelter refused to adopt to the 2o year old student, who said he didn’t know how the cat died.

“We contacted the authorities immediately,” said MDSPCA Executive Director Aileen Gabbey, and after the death was determined to have been caused by traumatic blast wound to the chest, Weibman was charged. When informed of Lucy’s cause of death finding, the accused said he had been shooting off an air rifle in his living room while the cat was in the kitchen.

Within two weeks after Lucy’s death, Weibman got a cat named Lola from an adoption event at an area PetSmart. Lola had been rescued from the streets before being turned over to the rescue group holding the adoption event. Just hours later he brought Lola to a vet, bleeding and hemorrhaging. The story he gave the vet was disputed by staff at the PetSmart, and the vet called police and animal control, and Lola was taken away from Weibman.

In addition to the charges stemming from the incidents with Lucy and Lola, Weibman is suspected in the deaths of four cats he previously owned and injuries to a fifth.

During a year where there have been several terrible crimes involving cats in Baltimore, authorities and advocates say they are particularly concerned in this case because of the serial nature of the alleged crimes.

The case comes at a time when, after other notorious animal cruelty cases, police, prosecuters and public officials are  taking cruelty to animals crimes seriously. According to Caroline Griffin or the Animal Abuse Task Force, “These cases are being investigated very zealously and being prosecuted very zealously”.

News reports on the case, most from late July or early August, all refer to Weibman’s background, coming from a well off family in Westchester County NY, as though it is significant that the accused does not come from the wrong side of the tracks. He is reported to have phoned the Baltimore Sun, disputing the charges and calling them slanderous, and has the support of his family as well as the money to mount a defense.

We are struck by a peculiar element in both the Lucy and Lola cases; the fact that he brought both cats to places where the injuries and death would be noted and reported. It seems that if he had not done so, no one would ever have known about the cats’ fates and Weibman would not be facing criminal charges. It seems strange.

Th accused is free on bail while awaiting trial and is supposed to stay away from animals as one of the bail provisions. The court date was recently pushed back from September to October.

The networking of Do Not Adopt To warnings targeted at keeping other cats out of Ethan Weibman’s hands began some weeks ago and continues. There are Facebook pages devoted to spreading the word, in addition to share posts spread grassroots style between rescuers and animal lovers. Craigslist posts are also useful in getting the word out. In cases such as this, when a Do Not Adopt To Warning is spread, shelters, rescuers, retail shops where adoption events are held, and the general public all need to know. The more people who know the safer our cats are. These warnings can be spread for abusers like Ethan Weibman, as well as for men and women who adopt free animals and then sell them to research facilities.


WJZ Baltimore TV news video from August 3.


Facebook Page: Do NOT Adopt To Ethan Weibman

Petition: We Demand Maximun Sentencing For Ethan Weibman

(Of course he’ll have to be found guilty first. There is a request for donations after you sign but it is not mandatory.)

5 thoughts on “Do Not Adopt Warning Spreads for Accused Cat Abuser”

  1. Hi Dee,
    Animal advocates have been circulating the warning for the last month, sending it to shelters and sharing it among themselves, while trying to alert the public via local Craigslist postings. We are just helping to spread the word further.

    I don’t actually know how strongly compelled this guy is to continue his actions, but if he is intent on getting animals, the more people who know about him, the better.
    If nothing else the warning is a reminder to be careful who we give or adopt animals to.
    There was a story from Ireland not long ago where a man threw kittens from a bridge into a river and a man dove in and rescued one. When the kitten’s photo was in the paper a woman recognized it as one she gave away through a Craigslist type site.

  2. I saw your warning and wish I could see the black list. Please the thought of this happening keeps me awake. Everyday I am feeding stray cats and their is no help from animal control to get them into a shelter. Thank You Debby Kilgo

  3. Debby, you can go to the do not adopt page at facebook – link above – for more.
    He was found guilty but sentencing is not until February (if i remember correctly). He is going to counseling and his lawers will, presumably, try to use that to lessen the punishment.

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