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Three cats killed in suspected arson in Florida

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Three cats who lived at a spay/neuter clinic in Florida were killed in an April 19 fire that appears to have been intentionally set, according to the Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT), which runs the facility.

“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you that an arsonist set the ACT Clinic on fire early this morning, taking the lives of our beloved Jazz, Boy, and Mama,” the organization reported on its website and Facebook page. “We are taking the next few days to assess our damage and will reopen as soon as possible.”

Boy, Jazz and Mama were the clinic's "house cats," having been rescued by ACT from various situations, said Linda Hamilton, the organization's development director and co-founder.

Tampa police announced April 21 that Terrod Arrington, 33, of no fixed address, pushed an employee at the clinic last week and was wanted for questioning in the arson incident. Later in the day, he was taken into custody and charged with battery.

"We’re still investigating whether or not he was involved with the arson," police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said.

Anyone with information about the fire at 502 N. Gilchrist Ave. is asked to contact the fire marshal’s office at 813-274-7000 or place an anonymous tip on the marshal’s website. ACT and the Silverback Peace Group have offered a $6,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who set the fire, police said.

According to ACT’s website, the low-cost clinic has sterilized 80,000 cats and dogs since it opened eight years ago.

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