This is the story of a police officer who, for an unknown reason, was unfortunately called out when a cat escaped his home and was hit by a car on the road. The cat was badly injured – bleeding and having problems breathing. One woman witnessed the police officer shooting the cat in the head and then throwing him away as an item of trash. She said that the police officer treated the cat compassionately. I cannot understand how she was able to make that observation.
Clearly the officer decided that he had to euthanise the cat with a bullet shot at close range to the cat’s head. In doing so he decided that the cat could not be saved. He is unqualified to make that decision. That is the problem with what happened. That is why he dealt with the matter insensitively and his insensitivity was compounded by throwing the cat away as if he was an item of trash. This action completely ignores the emotional connection between the cat and his owner.
Obviously, the owner is distraught. Lynn Maganja said:
“There’s gotta be a better way than to just shoot your cat and throw it in the trash. It just doesn’t make sense.”
I totally agree with her. Lynn admits that it was her fault that her cat got out. She was away on holiday and her son was watching her pets. Her cat, Marley, got outside by accident. These things happen.
Lynn’s son had to recover their cat from the dumpster which must’ve been heartbreaking. The cat had a hole in his head.
An animal activist, Pam Busch, filed a complaint with the police. The police response is that this was an unfortunate incident and that they are reviewing it and the Department’s policy.
“It’s an unfortunate incident for all involved. Officers do not take any pleasure in having to dispatch animals but at times it is part of their job.” Commment: yes it is part of the job but only as a last resort which was not the case in this instance. This is a poor response by the police chief.
To reiterate, firstly I cannot see why the police officer was called out. Having been called out the only course of action was to take the cat to a veterinarian to let him or her decide the best course of action. It may well have been possible to treat Marley. A police officer cannot decide on his own whether the humane course of action is to euthanise a cat. That is the first mistake he made. The second was disposing of Marley as trash. This is inexcusable. It is probably a reflection of poor police training and/or a less than sensitive attitude towards animals. I have seen this before from the police.
We all know that police officers have a difficult job to do but they should recognise that today, in the 21st century, there is an emotional connection between cat owner and cat. Cats are treated as family members. You don’t throw a family member in the trashcan as if it is a broken toaster.
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