It was all captured on body camera footage and a lot of viewers are weighing in on it including the media with titles such as “Police pepper spray suspected rabid cat”. In the footage you can hear the conversation that the officers were having when they decided how to take that cat down. The conversation is eye-opening.
Apparently multiple officers responded to a call about a possible rabid cat. And it seems that the officers decided that the best course of action was to pepper spray the cat. And they did:
One of the police officers described the free-roaming cat, probably a domestic cat:
His back is arched, his hair is flared, he’s aggressive.
The video states that it all began with a call from a security guard to the police. The guard said that employees and customers were being chased by an aggressive cat at a parking lot. You see it in the video.
The officers discussing the cat were dreaming up some pretty extreme ideas as to how to deal with him.
If he gets against this wall, I’ll shoot him. I just don’t want to shoot him when there’s people and things back there.
I know one thing, if I kill a cat and tell my girlfriend about it, she’s going to be mad.
You think if I shoot him nine times they’ll [inaudible]… Why you shoot him nine times?
Because he has nine lives [laughing].
The video shows the moment that the cat was pepper sprayed. He did not hit the cat directly in the face thank God and the cat ran away. Some of the pepper spray blew back into the officer’s face. Karma, I would say.
You hit him, because he’s drooling hard.
By the time that animal control arrived, the cat had disappeared. Apparently, the officers wanted to stun the cat with pepper spray while they awaited the arrival of animal control.
In the past an officer from this force had been bitten by a rabid cat. This may have made them more cautious.
Comment: Rabies understandably creates fear in America which can lead to some pretty extreme behavior. Fear also leads to some crazy inexperienced diagnoses as to whether a cat has rabies or not. They can’t possible diagnose the cat so they play safe and that often means killing the cat. And it happened because someone called the police because a cat was (they think) behaving aggressively. Perhaps the cat was not behaving aggressively. It is a matter of personal perceptions. Often perceptions are wrong. Perhaps the person who called 911 hated cats or was frightened of cats. So many unknowns. How do you act correctly on unknowns?
Alpharetta is a city located in northern Fulton County, Georgia, United States and is a suburb north of Atlanta.