An example showing that it is a crime to shoot your neighbor’s cat just because he is on your property

There is a large group of people in America who consistently and confidently proclaim with complete conviction and certainty that it is entirely within their rights and rock solid legal to shot a domestic cat (someone’s ‘property’) with bow and arrow or gun if he is on their property. They are wrong except under exceptional circumstances (i.e. livestock harassed). Here is an example from Australia which backs up this statement.

Before anyone in America tells me that the law is different in Australia, they should pause because they’d be wrong again. The common law is very similar as both are derived from English law and as for statutory law this will be similar too in this instance as it concerns basic rights to one’s property and basic rights regarding animal welfare.

Abc.net.au reports that a South Australian man, Shannon Aubert, 35, shot at his neighbor’s ginger tabby cat, George, with a compound bow four times as soon as George stepped on his land. George survived but suffered terribly and was euthanised by a veterinarian.

In his defence Aubert was unapologetic and remained convinced that he had the right to shot the cat because he judged the cat to be feral and was about to attack his chickens

“He seems quite unapologetic for having shot the cat and even at the trial was quite insistent that it was within his right to shoot the cat without making any inquiries as soon as it stepped on to his land.”

This defence and the defendants attitude is incorrect. He learned that what he did was a crime. It is animal cruelty. Firstly he conveniently assumed the cat was feral. He had no idea the cat was feral. He wanted it to be. You cannot judge a cat to be feral at a distance without checking thoroughly. If the cat was feral he would not have been prosecuted in Australia despite the fact it would still have been animal cruelty.

The magistrate correctly stated that it was a cruel act to try and “euthanise” a cat with a compound bow. Of course it is and the same can be said about guns in my view although guns will kill more quickly.

The bow was confiscated and destroyed. Aubert pleaded to keep it as he used it for recreational purposes. For him shooting at cats is a form of recreation.

His sentence (as usual) was not severe enough. He received a suspended jail term of 6 months. He has to pay court costs and vet fees of $3,037.50 (Australian dollars) and compensation to George’s owner of $846. In my view the sentence should not have been suspended.

But the key aspect of this case is that the outcome is correct. I hope that others, particularly the shooters of America will learn that it is a crime on more than one level to shoot and injure or kill a neighbor’s cat (an owned domestic cat) because he/she walks onto their land. He could also have been prosecuted for criminal damage.

This case has similarities to the well-known Kristen Lindsey shooting. She was punished by her veterinary licensing board but was not prosecuted in the criminal courts which was incorrect. That happened in Texas where it appears this sort of crime is tolerated.

Note: Cats are not considered nuisance animals or pests or invasive species under the law in the US on a state by state basis.


P.S. If anyone wants to argue that I am incorrect, you’ll have to support what you state with chapter and verse reference to the law of the country concerned.




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An example showing that it is a crime to shoot your neighbor’s cat just because he is on your property — 5 Comments

  1. One of the absurd defenses in the Kristen case was that she came from Montana where it’s reportedly legal to shoot cats, by state law. That Texas has animal cruelty laws doesn’t matter there anyway as they don’t prosecute them. What I am loathe to maintain is the morality of it all. In my opinion it’s a crime against nature and all things right and just. It’s like murder… you just don’t do it. However I’m an atheist and would like a new word to explain this without having to refer to the bible all the time. One can write forever to explain why killing an innocent animal is wrong that every reasonable adult person could agree on… everyone on this planet, rather than just refer to a few sentences in one ancient book. We can be more sophisticated than that and relate to how we have come to see things now. That’s just my opinion but I think it’s well founded.

  2. The only crime he committed is that he didn’t kill the cat. Any hunter knows that just maiming an animal, then not tracking it down to slit its throat (legal and humane exsanguination) or give it the final kill-shot, is legal grounds for being convicted under animal-cruelty laws. Had he killed the cat there would have been no crime of animal cruelty because killing animals with bows & arrows or rifles is considered a humane way to kill any animal — when done right. Everyone knows that a dead cat is a legal cat.

    Nice try to try to support your inbred UK psychoses, but again you’re dead wrong.

    • Hi Woody, you idiot. Your idiocy has emerged big time. It is impossible to describe killing a cat with a compound bow as humane because it causes a lot of pain and the magistrate says the same thing. Please try and switch on your brain although I am sure that’s hard to do befuddled as it is with booze and drugs.

  3. Albert, I am also an atheist. I refer to this as disrespect for all life of all species. By brutally attempting to kill or actually killing other species or one’s own, one is disrespecting all life, including one’s own.

    My late Dad, who was atheist, used to say, “All species are evolutions gift to all others” I still believe this.

    I believe that we are all born loving, sociable and non violent. If we were not, we would not have survived as a species of mammal (for that is what we are) Other species, according to their evolutionary path have kept the art of nurture close. We humans have generally lost that essential skill. We have fallen prey to the power of our enormous brains, our amazing ability to alter and shape our worlds beyond our basic needs. We have been wooed by shallow and callous greed. We have forgotten the importance of nurture to our survival. The way many humans of all social strata live, brutalises and anaesthetises them to the importance of love and respect.

    I believe that if we could all regain belief and skill in the art of nurture, then we would see none of this foul cruelty from damaged scum such as Kristen, Aubert and countless other depraved monstrosities.

    I believe it is brutalisation of individuals (trauma of any kind) that results in individuals who are capable of this cruelty to other species. This of course is no excuse, but having learned many life lessons in the nature of trauma, and studied much, I do see that the result of brutality, so often is, yet more brutality.

    My own visceral response to such crimes is to shout for vengeance. I too would like to have seen Aubert imprisoned for a long time or constantly faced with the agony he perpetuated on poor, beautiful George. Rationality is not my forte when cruelty to living beings is concerned.

    We need to find a simpler, kinder way of raising our own.

    If we do not, we will not survive, never mind evolve.

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