You have probably read the story of Johnny Bullington who owns and runs Critter Zappers. He was asked by some residents of the Cottages at Harrison Bridge, Greenville, USA to remove feral cats form the neighbourhood. He removed domestic cats some with collars and raised from birth. The hurt is tremendous. He dumped them far away from their homes. Elisa wrote about it. Note: if the residents had asked that he remove ‘cats’ they too would be liable for a charge of animal abandonment and theft because they’d be the principals in an agency agreement with Bullington.
He’s been charged with animal abandonment. The charge is correct based on what has been reported. But what about theft?
This must be the theft of people’s property. Bullington’s actions clearly amount to theft in the USA.
Here is a definition of theft from USLegal.com:
“Generally, a person commits the crime of theft of property if he or she knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of his or her property..”
Bullington trapped domestic cats. In the eyes of the law domestic cats are ‘chattels’ like fridges and cars possessed by people. He took the cats away and dumped them in a ‘rural stretch of southern Greenville County’. He dumped them with the intention that they would not return to where they were trapped as requested. His intention was to remove them permanently as instructed from the Cottages at Harrison Bridge.
He must have known that some of the cats if not all of them (I don’t know the number of domestic cats) were domesticated because three of them at least were wearing collars. Also he was reckless as to whether any of the cats were domestic. It appears that he did not check. This is a compounding element.
Gary and Sunny Ward filed their police report in mid-February. They said that they had lost three cats, Buster, Polly and Dollie. All had collars at the time that they were abducted by Bullington. They had raised them since they were born.
The evidence is strong that this is a case of theft as well as animal abandonment so what are the prosecution doing?