Animal control officer sacked and cat owner accepts $300 compensation after the officer shoots dead her cat

It looks like the life of a six-year-old rescue cat, Max, is worth $300 in terms of compensation to the cat’s owner, Margaret Clarke, after Max had been unjustifiably shot dead with a county-issue .22 calibre rifle by an animal control officer, Brian Blackwell.

The officer was suspended on full pay and then sacked after an internal investigation as to why he had shot the lady’s cat on her porch. He had justified his actions in saying the cat lunged at him. In previous news posts we learned that he had been told about Max. It was clear to me at that time that Blackwell had acted wholly incorrectly.

Margaret reached an agreement in full and final settlement for $300 compensation together with the promise of a new cat, free of charge, from the local animal shelter.

Max had been adopted from the local animal shelter.

The terms of the agreement included an agreement that Margaret Clarke:

“releases, acquits and forever discharges Baldwin County from any and all actions, causes of actions, claims and demands, damages, costs……and compensation arising from the death of her pet cat, Max on April 15, 2016.”

Comment: it is interesting (a) to discover that the officer was in the wrong as was believed by people like me and (b) that they came to the sum of $300 for compensation. I wonder how they arrived at that figure and (c) this was a crime, the crime of criminal damage. He was not prosecuted in the criminal courts. Surprised?

I wrote about the killing in an earlier post.

Source: Cat owner settles with county for $300 | News |

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7 thoughts on “Animal control officer sacked and cat owner accepts $300 compensation after the officer shoots dead her cat”

  1. By the standards of todays law that was a pretty good sum. In the US a domestic pet is chattel. Personal Property. After the saga of my own cat first blinded and then most likely floxed and suffering liver failure a few like minded souls have joined me as we work though the system to understand how the law works and what needs to change and the most effective way to start pushing for that change. Because the cat was killed they’re lucky they got more than the shelter donated cat of the adoption fee.
    It’s going to take us and many more groups to do something besides sign a petition online. big whoop

  2. $300.00 would, nowhere, near cover my anger and grief. I’m not sure that anything would.

    However, I would embrace the notion that he becomes my slave for as long as I like. He could cook, clean (especially, litter boxes), caretake my feral colonies from 2AM to 5AM every morning under my supervision, and sleep the same 5 1/2 hours that I do. A ball and chain would thrill me too.

    I, further, feel that Ms. Clarke was remiss is signing any document that released the county from any responsibility, ie. the people who employed this nit-wit officer.
    To me, the county offer of a “replacement” cat would have been even more insulting and made me even madder.

    1. Dee, I was just thinking what I’d accept in compensation. It would have to be well over $20,000. That is taking into account the emotional anguish in losing a genuine family member. Of course they would never agree that in which case I’d do my best to ensure that the officer faced criminal proceedings.

      I totally agree with what you say.

      1. I don’t think that I would even accept $20,000.00 Michael.
        The offer of a “replacement” cat would have shoved me over the edge. There goes my sanity…
        What I would have really liked to have happened would be to have 30 minutes alone with this idiot, uninterrupted in an enclosure, equipped with chains, nunchucks, and whips.

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