Teenage girl charged with murder after animal rescuer found ‘beaten, slashed and tied to bed’

Chiara Giordano
General view of Algon Avenue, in Philadelphia, where 59-year-old cat rescuer Albert Chernoff was found dead at his home on 5 November, 2019: Google

A teenage girl has been charged with murder after a well-known animal rescuer was found “beaten, slashed and tied to a bed” at his home in Philadelphia.

Court documents indicate the 14-year-old suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also faces charges of robbery, evidence tampering and other counts in the death of 59-year-old Albert Chernoff.

Mr Chernoff was pronounced dead at the scene after he was found partially bound to a bed with a head wound and slash injuries on his chest at his home in the neighbourhood of Rhawnhurst on Monday, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Emergency services were reportedly called to the scene by a neighbour.

Mr Chernoff went by the nickname “Alley Cat” in reference to his one-man cat rescue operation which was featured on National Geographic television programme Rescue Ink.

He was an Army veteran and worked at the Philadelphia International Airport, according to the Inquirer.

Mr Chernoff also worked at animal rescue shelter ACCT Philly, which described him as “one of the kindest people”.

The shelter said in a Facebook post: ”The animal rescue community, and especially the cat community has lost an amazing man.

“He was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met and he would do anything for anyone.

“You are already missed and there is a hole in the heart of every cat rescuer that will never be filled.”

Eleven cats, three turtles and two frogs were reportedly recovered from his home by animal welfare workers after his death.

The Defender Association of Philadelphia, listed in court documents as representing the 14-year-old girl, could not be reached on Sunday.