Saskatoon is a city found in Saskatchewan, Canada. The police service there recently came under fire after an officer was seen shooting a cat and then leaving the body on a lawn at the side of the road.
According to the Saskatoon Police Service, this is what took place Friday morning. Police spokesperson Kelsie Fraser explained the circumstances.
Fraser says an animal destruction officer who is specially trained to evaluate and euthanize badly injured animals was called to the scene on Idylwyld Drive N by two officers who came across the injured cat.
In an interview with CBC News Fraser stated
“An animal destruction officer did attend to the scene and confirmed that the cat had been struck by a vehicle likely. It was suffering quite badly and beyond the point of treatment so they did opt to destroy the cat. We intended to stop a cat from suffering. It wasn’t anything more untoward than that.”
At least one resident witnessed the shooting from the Dogg House sports bar across the road. Manager Trevor MacKinnon was outside smoking with a friend when he saw police arrive in an unmarked SUV where they pulled up outside Poulin’s Pest Control and put on the vehicle warning lights.
MacKinnon went inside but a friend witnessed the shooting thinking the officer had shot a wild animal but it was unclear why officers would leave the dead animal on the lawn.
Officers left the dead cat to be picked up by the City of Saskatoon Animal Control Agency. Under the Animal Protection Act, if an animal is determined to be in immediate distress and suffering from inconsolable pain, instant killing it is considered a kindness and isn’t considered animal cruelty.
The SPCA got involved when they received a complaint of animal cruelty about the incident and got in touch with the police service. Jasmine Hanson, a spokesperson for the SPCA, said shooting a cat doesn’t necessarily constitute animal cruelty.
Although Hanson said this is the first complaint to come in of this kind, the SPCA is required to investigate all complaints. It was determined the specially trained officer did what he thought was right to end the suffering of a cat who was suffering and beyond the point of treatment.