Stray cat scratches a child and is shot by police

A stray cat is recovering after being shot by a police officer for suspicion of rabies, The Portland Press Herald reported September 4. Is this an overreaction or a sensible precaution? Similar events have happened before. Also see: police killing cats.

Clark (named after Clark Kent, Superman’s alter ego) was shot August 20 by a Gorham (Maine) Police officer after he was suspected of having rabies. Clark had bitten or scratched a 7-year-old girl on Maple Ridge Road. The girl’s father reported the cat walked with a limp, and he “believed” Clark was rabid.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Clark didn’t like being captured, and allegedly attempted to bite an animal control officer during an unsuccessful attempt to trap him. Clark was shot by Gorham Police with a 16-gauze shotgun, after the decision was made between the officer and animal control that the best way to stop the threat of rabies was to kill the cat. Clark disappeared into the woods.

A thorough search was conducted, with no sign of the injured cat. Each day of searching showed no sign of the injured cat. The police officer who shot Clark thought he’d missed his target. Four days later, Clark was captured when he showed up in the yard of Debbie Webb, who had been feeding the cat for three years.

According to Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, state law requires the capture of a suspected rabid animal. Once caught, the animal must be taken to a vet or animal shelter for observation.

Now recovering at a Westbrook shelter, Clark has been declared rabies free. Everyone is hoping he can recovere from the injuries without surgery. The pellets shattered one bone in each of his front paws. The police department is paying for treatment, and an orthopedic surgeon is monitoring Clark. So far the cat is adjusting well to living indoors.

The vet believes Clark to be between 5 and 8 years old, and describe the friendly cat as a “love bug.”

Lt. Chris Sanborn said the police officer and the animal control officer remain on active duty, pending an investigation. Their names aren’t being released at this time. Sanborn says his officers followed state protocol in their attempt to trap a possibly rabid cat. He said he wasn’t sure what the protocol is when the cat can’t be captured.

Jeana Roth, community relations manager for the shelter stated

“This is not a typical way for a cat to be brought to us. We never want to see a situation like this again.”

Humane Society of the United States senior law enforcement officer Eric Sakach, said he has never in his 38-year career heard of a situation in which a police officer shot a domestic cat suspected of having rabies.

Debbie is concerned about her stray kitty, and finds it difficult to believe police would hunt down and shoot such a sweet cat in a yard where he felt safe. When hearing Clark had been shot then captured, she was terrified he would be euthanized.

Rabies is rare in Maine. There have only been eight confirmed cases in cats since January 2010. Residents are cautioned against feeding stray animals of any kind.

No word yet on whether Debbie will officially adopt Clark and turn him into an inside cat, but we can all hope she cares enough to do that for this sweet boy.

Link to news story.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

30 thoughts on “Stray cat scratches a child and is shot by police”

  1. She is a beautiful cat and our attitude is horrific.

    What is going on, on this planet? Stray cats or Feral (My favorite topic).

    Now I can only say
    West or east
    Both are beast

    I am sad really sad and tired 🙁
    now a days I feel sickness, Its like my shoulders are heavy in pain and my heart broken, head is heavy with stress and I usually read books in my bed.

    Don’t go out to see more cruelty but it comes here online when I read articles.

    Can I ask a question to the authorities?
    Why do you want to make this earth a hell place to live? Where humanity is in suffering and innocent animals are not safe???

    What are your intentions?

    🙁 can’t understand 🙁

    1. Hi Ashan
      This is just so Horrible. Wherever you look there Cruetly to Animals. Even over here in New Zealand. Although its abit less than in US & UK and other Places. It saddens me too to see such Cruetly but Esp to Cats. They just deserve a loving Enviroment and someone that Cares for them and gives them unconditional Love and attention. It breaks my heart so much to hear such horribe things done to Cats. I admire so much what you do for your Ferrels. 🙂

    2. Ashan, let’s be thankful that there are so many more non-cruel people than cruel.
      It’s just that the horror of this story is that this cat was seriously wounded, and intended to be killed, by the very people who swear to serve and protect and are held to high standards.

  2. Hey Michael. If i may, i would like to ask a special request. If not, its ok, i just needed to put it out there. As anyone who knows , i am an activist for animals. Be it cat, dog, horse or whatever. There is a petition circulating now through Care2 about a pet sitter in Florida that was caught on video beating a 16 month old Dachshund to death! This happened last month and the petition is to assure this monster gets the maximum sentence for the slaughter of this little soul. Would it be ok to share this link with our fellow readers to add their support for this cause? I know its a cat forum but i just wanted to ask before i imposed upon the site. Also, Michael, i have forgotten how to start a new topic. Can you instruct me on how to do so? lol..

      1. Hey Elisa, i just posted it on this story. When you are able, please read and sign the petition. If you can share, please do. Many thanks. (smile)

    1. You can put a link in a comment on this page if you like or if you like write an article and include a link. If you’d like to write an article just write a long comment and I’ll convert it to a page. Try and refer at least once to cats 😉

      1. Thank you so much Michael for doing this. Firstly, let me say that CATS are the bomb!! I love my boy immensely! I want to say that you guys have been a dynamic audience and you deserve to give yourselves a round of applause — LETS GO!!

        Sadly, while this is a CAT site for all our CAT friends, a recent tragedy in Florida requires our attention immediately. A demented evil pet sitter, not aware of home surveillance, brutally murdered a helpless little dachshund. A petition is circulating to plead this trash gets the maximum at his sentencing. Please sign and have your friends and their friends sign the petition!! Perhaps with our healthy voices on paper, we can put this worthless scum where he belongs for a long while! And remember, let’s love our CATS!!!

        Have you hugged your CAT today!! CATS rule!! Anyway, here is the link to the petition. The story is included. Near the end you will see where it says about signing the petition. Let’s go to work! =)

    2. OMG Jayme!
      I’m horrified that a petsitter would do that.
      Michael has an alternate site that he may be able to put that in.
      Check out his alternate site. I’ve liked it a lot.

      1. Well Dee, that is a terrific idea! Could you send me a link maybe to the alternative site??? Then again, how about both? We need to get this out there soon. I was just as horrified as you when i found out about this. The worthless scum had no idea the household had a surveillance camera, and brutally killed this little dog, then buried it, and told the people he had ran off. What a scum excuse for human. Unfortunately, we have real live monsters in our mist.

        1. Go to the top of this site where it says SUBDOMAINS, then general blogs. Ask Michael to make an article.
          The whole thing about that little dog sickens me. I want him in jail right now!

          1. Oh, i didn’t know about that Dee. Subdomains. Yikes! Well, i had already posted it here. Michael knows cause i replied to his comment. He can still do that you think? Or what shall i do? =(

        1. Will sign indeed.
          PoC is stictly cat. Unless you make reference to cats, it’s not appropriate.
          The subdomain is about all animals. Michael is an amimal lover and he writes articles about dogs, cats, birds, etc. there.

  3. Poor cat! Did the officer & animal control try a net or drop trap? Way for them to prevent the spread of rabies, shoot an allegedly rabid cat so he can go die in the woods, other animals can feast on his carcass, & the can all get rabies too! The protocol is to get post-exposure rabies vaccines & quarantine the animal when rabies is suspected. Shooting him was inhumane & now he lives w/ a broken legs & pain. I hope the police & animal control officers lose their jobs. The kid got bit by an unvaccinated cat, scary, yes, but what kind of example are we setting for our children when officers are constantly shooting & killing domestic pets???

  4. This comes as no surprise as it is no secret!! All across this nation the police are heavy fingered when it comes to pulling triggers and shooting to kill and then ask questions later! It’s a problem that is out of hand across this nation and i want to know where the outrage is?!??! Insane!!! I doubt very little will be done since the people are not willing to raise their healthy voices in defense of animals (even their own) so i don’t look for too much to change.

    1. Indeed they are “heavy fingered” as you so accurately say. The child probably mishandled the cat who is described as a “love bug” by the veterinarian. The child’s father kicked it all off by saying he thought the cat was rabid. Bloody madness, I think.

      1. Well all this brings to mind a recent thing that was newsworthy, as a home owner who owned a dog, that was callously murdered by a police officer who was out looking for a lost child. He opened the fence to this man’s back yard and entered. He encountered the home owners dog which by the way was a good distance from the officer, and without any regard whatsoever, took his hand gun and killed this dog and just more or less left it laying out in the back yard. Didn’t have the courage to wait around till the owner arrives home. He left in a hurry. The home owner was notified and the man arrived home to a scene that would mortify any one of us who loves our fur friend. The homeowner was filming it all. Just brutality at its worse. For those who did not see this video allow me to add this link to view this blatant disregard for an animals life.

        1. I hate to say it but I don’t like the attitude of a section of the police force to companion animals. Elisa has written about many examples of cats and particularly dogs being shot by police officers. It is almost as if they need to use their gun on something and a dog or cat is fair game because they know they can get away with it.

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