Animal welfare organization Aidaa said the man adopted at least 15 cats over the course of several months from multiple Brianza province shelters and raised suspicions among officials when he offered excuses for avoiding routine checks on the welfare of the adopted cats, TheLocal.it reported Monday.
Newspaper La Stampa reported Aidaa investigators carried out a surprise check at the man's home and "caught him in the act" of preparing to kill a cat for food.
Aidaa President Lorenzo Croce said the man adopted "black cats with specific characteristics. They had to be around 3 years old, and quite plump."
"He even admitted to killing black cats and eating them in the company of friends," Croce said.
The 50-year-old man was arrested on a maltreatment charge and could face a prison sentence of three months to one year and a fine of up to $20,500.