Pasco County

Suspected arsonists put Pasco cat rescue in danger of closing

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - Someone tried to burn down a cat rescue in Pasco County, leaving its volunteers in fear and the shelter in danger of closing.

Surveillance video shows two people setting fire to two cars parked in front of the Tampa Bay Cat Alliance in an apparent attempt to burn down the shelter.

"We're afraid at this point. We don't know if they are going to come back and try to set the building on fire or, It's just kind of scary you know," said Alison Buckley, the shelter's founder. Buckley was inside the building when the fire was started. She has no idea why someone would intentionally try to harm her staff or the cats inside.

"Obviously we want to find out who did this, we are in fear. The cars are actually parked right here and had the car blown, it would have blown out the windows and it would have been inside and if we hadn't been up and about, we probably wouldn't be here right now or the cats," said Buckely.

An arson investigator with the Pasco Fire Rescue and the Pasco County Sheriff's Office are looking into the matter.

"These cats have all had rough starts, they don't need that scenario. It's scary, like I said, we don't know who it was or if they are coming back. Maybe they didn't accomplish what they wanted to accomplish, I don't know why somebody would do that but it's a sad situation," said Buckely.

Buckley says the cost of repairs from the damage has also put the shelter's operations in jeopardy.

"We're just trying to hold on in the community here and we're real close to shutting down at this point," Buckley said.

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