Oakdale man charged for setting home on fire, killing cats inside

The Washington County Attorney’s Office has charged an Oakdale man with first-degree arson and multiple counts of animal cruelty after allegedly setting fire to his home with 12 cats inside.

According to Washington County, the 42-year-old suspect, who was reportedly under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the incident, set his house on fire using gasoline and a piece of cardboard. 

When fire crews responded to the fire Sunday evening they found him outside his home. Court papers say he said, "I started the fire" to first responders. 

As crews worked to extinguish the fire, they found four or five cats alive inside. Those cats were turned over to animal control.

Additionally, multiple other cats were found dead inside the house. 

The suspect made a first appearance in Washington County Court Tuesday and remains in custody.