NEWS AND COMMENT-DALLAS, USA: A Dallas police officer has been placed on administrative leave after he allegedly killed a cat under obscure circumstances. It is said that the cat was in distress. And the incident happened when officers were responding to a domestic disturbance after midnight on August 21.
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The Dallas Police Department (DPD) said at a news conference that one of their officers who attended this domestic disturbance spotted a distress cat at the scene. He killed the cat immediately according to The Dallas Morning News. They don’t explain why the cat was shot except to say that he or she was in distress. They don’t explain whether the cat was owned or unowned and the police department has not disclosed the name of the police officer. The matter is being investigated.
This incident follows a group of, I believe, 12 Dallas police officers who have all been placed on administrative leave after they were allegedly found to be involved in a pyramid scheme as reported by the Morning News.
Comment: it appears that the DPD is in disarray. The killing of the can interest me because, on my reading of news media, police officers in America do not have a great relationship with domestic or stray cats. There have been other incidents of cats being unjustifiably killed by police officers using different means and sometimes a gun. Although there have been incidences of police officers being kind to cats and police officers being bitten or scratched by cats. It works both ways sometimes. Officers have also been reported killing dogs unjustifiably.
Thinking about this story from a moral and ethical standpoint, it is hard to see how it could be either ethical or indeed legal. Let’s say the cat was in distress as described and let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the cat was, on the face of it, seriously ill; the officer should have taken him/her to a veterinarian if he wanted to take urgent steps without notifying the owner (if there was an owner).
If a person wants to euthanise a cat should take that animal to a veterinarian. And unless euthanasia is justified it would have to be described as a killing. And as a police officer is unable to assess whether a cat should be euthanised, I am drawn to the only conclusion possible which is that the police officer deliberately killed the cat and the killing was unjustified and therefore it was illegal and therefore it was in breach of animal welfare laws. And if the cat was owned it was also criminal damage under the relevant American statute. If the cat was owned, the owner can sue the officer for compensation which would be a very small sum of money but they may do it as a matter of principle.
When trying to get into the head of this police officer, I have to come to the conclusion that he or she was far too eager to use his gun which I presume they used to kill the cat. I can’t see any other way it was done. The officer wasn’t there to deal with a sick cat (non-criminal matter). He was there to deal with a domestic disturbance. Why didn’t he simply leave the cat alone as its condition was outside of his remit? Or if he wanted to do something about it, he could have taken a little time to figure out who owned the cat by knocking on some doors.
No doubt, he or she will claim that he euthanised the cat but as mentioned above this won’t qualify as euthanasia. They should be punished and in a better world that punishment should be loss of job. That’s my assessment and I am an animal advocate. No doubt there will be people who have diametrically opposite ideas. I respect them but they’re wrong.
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Picture shows tiger’s jaws clamped on arm pushed through fencing as the man is on the ground screaming for help
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