Police Officer Finds Missing Cat, Takes It To a Field, Shoots It In the Head, and Throws It In the Trash

MurderedCat_al_METRO_091009_067f_09-11-2009_B31BG07F.embedded.prod_affiliate.81Police in Raymore, Missouri have a curious way to recovering missing pets. When 19-year-old Tobey disappeared on Labor Day, she was eventually found by a police officer. However, since it did not have a tag, the dispatcher ordered the officer to take the cat directly to a field and “put him down.”

The officer took Tobey to a field and shot him twice in the head. The cat was then thrown into a bag and dumped in the trash.

Police insist that they believe the cat might be diseased or feral.

Tobey was without claws and weighed only 6 pounds.

City Manager Eric Berlin told the mayor and council members that the city might want to review its policy on euthanizing animals. That might be a good idea. Most modern cities do not carry out such procedures in nearby fields with firing squads.

Police chief Roger Mayberry wrote to the owners that “[a]s for the final disposition of your pet, let me say that I, too, would have preferred a different method.”

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27 thoughts on “Police Officer Finds Missing Cat, Takes It To a Field, Shoots It In the Head, and Throws It In the Trash”

  1. Mothman, Missouri in general has a terrible record of animal control laws and what laws we have are seldom enforced. We are famous for our puppy mills, exotic animal auctions and nearly no laws beyond the requirement to register with local law enforcement if you are keeping certain large and dangerous exotic animals. I haven’t seen any news about the sale of big cats at our many livestock auction house’s for a couple of years so it may now be illegal to sell them (or they are private auctions instead of public now) but you can own any animal except in the largest municipal areas. I’m pretty sure shooting a cat isn’t even on the radar.

    I live in a suburb of St. Louis and if I wanted to set out poison bait to kill the raccoons (and I think Opossums also) that pass through I could legally, and if I took the dead ones (or a recognizable part thereof) to a Mo. Dept. of Conservation office I would get a small bounty for the “nuisance animal”. If I accidentally killed a neighbors cat or dog or kid with the bait it could then become a legal issue but killing some critters in MO is rewarded. I found this out when a neighbor threatened to do just that and I called MDC to see if it was legal.

    I don’t think this is going to to be a big criminal issue in Raymore, maybe a civil action but that’s probably it.

    http://www.fox2now.com/ktvi-fox-files-exotic-animals-042309,0,4141407.story

    The Humane Society has named Missouri as on of the 5 worst states in the country regarding the sale and ownership of exotic animals:

    http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/worst_exotic_pet_states_031809.html

  2. I’m surprised that this LEO isn’t facing a criminal investigation. If the description of what he did is accurate – The cop had control of the animal and then removed the animal to a less populated area, where it was killed – it resembles, very closely, what is known as a “caged hunt” of a domestic animal. It’s quite illegal in the states in which I’m familiar, although I’m not sure about MO.

    Also, I would be curious if Missouri had any laws governing the disposal of animal remains, which would be another possible criminal violation.

    Lastly, if the officer did believe the cat to be feral, I’m wondering if there are any municipal regulations mandating that the animal be tested for communicable diseases, like rabies. This would be especially true if this cat did indeed claw a human, which from what I understand was the alleged impetus for the animal’s destruction. It’s tough to test an animal for rabies when you’ve dumped in the trash.

  3. Byron, If you determin I’m crazy it will have to be entirely based on my opinions 🙂

  4. lottakatz:

    I saw 44 and my first thought was “I wonder if she is crazy?”

    Thank you for clarifying.

  5. lottakatz, for a second I thought you were my 1L CivPro professor. That person had about 40 cats (not typo).

  6. OMG! just saw that error “44 cats” no, not 44- 4. Crazy I may be but I’m not a crazy cat lady. Not yet anyway 🙂

    I just saw this news item and I’m floored: “Federal program uses syringes to deter drunk driving”

    http://rawstory.com/blog/2009/09/federal-program-uses-syringes-to-deter-drunk-driving/

    I didn’t know the police could perform blood draws at all. This is a pilot program and seems to be generated over concern that people can refuse Breathalyzer tests but not a warrantless blood draw. The pilot program will be held in Idaho. Too many people in Idaho have been refusing the Breathalizer tests- exercising their rights in other words.

    From the article: “Officers can’t hold down a suspect and force them to breath into a tube, she noted, but they can forcefully take blood — a practice that’s been upheld by Idaho’s Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.” Amazing. And the possibility of technical problems with the samples due to improper handling, storage and manufacture of vials is not insignificant either.

    I’m one of those people that think we have crossed the line from democracy to authoritarian state some time ago but were being generally spared the day to day indignity of it, what with tazers and now this I think the gloves are coming off.

  7. what a bunch of assholes, you see, this is why people hate and distrust officers. Their misconduct bleeds into other professions associated with law enforcement, like lawyers. There’s a real unfounded mistrust of attorneys, too, I read an interesting post about it on this guy’s blog: http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/

  8. AY, I have 44 cats and all of them have run at the prospect of meds, trips to the vet, baths or just because it’s Tuesday. It’s difficult to nearly impossible to catch them but they’re pretty easy to outsmart. Srsly, that’s one of the ‘end of life’ counseling questions “When it gets to the point that you can’t outsmart a cat do you want us to shoot them or you?” Srsly. 😉

  9. Lotta,

    Have you ever tried to catch a cat that is running away from you and knows you are pissed at it. That could have been justification to at least taser it. But not do this inhumane act.

  10. fflaw: “The weak lie that they tried to use about the cat being diseased or feral is disgusting. ”

    They knew they couldn’t get away with “resisting arrest”.

  11. I do not know if I can agree that the Officer has legal culpability. It depends upon what the city Ords state. The dispatcher should be in a better position to make the calls in a situation such as this. However that is the problem with civil dispatchers. They usually lack the training that a seasoned duty officer does.

    However I agree with empirecookie.

    Buddha, good to see you post. Now don’t you go off on me.

  12. WHY DIDN’T THEY CALL ANIMAL CONTROL??? I live in San Antonio, TX and we are very close to being a “NO KILL” city when it comes to animal control. This was a senseless act!

  13. Why does it take 2 shots from a 9mm to kill a cat?
    That officer needs to learn how to handle a weapon.

    Why would they not just put the cat in the local pound? Sounds like someone doesnt like cats.

    The first clue should have been the fact that the cat had no claws. A feral cat without claws is an oxymoron as in it would have been a dead cat long ago. Maybe the guy thought it was a miracle from the great god CATAPUSSY and thought he had to be destroyed to keep the town folks safe and secure.

    CATAPUSSY has been busy lately as this blog has shown in other threads where people have been arrested because of their cats.

    Anyway feral cats keep the rodents in check, we go down to Ocracoke Is once in awhile and they have a large population of feral cats, I have yet to see a rat on that island.

    Down in South Eastern Virginia they shoot stray dogs once a year for a one or two week period. They post the time so everyone can tie their dogs up.

    People should get their animals castrated and hysterectomized.

  14. Wonder how they handle missing children not wearing name tags? A true Forrest Gump moment.

  15. This officer and the dispatcher and the chief should all be fired on the spot. The owner of this cat should be preparing their lawsuit against the city asap. The police did not want to bother themselves by actually returning the cat or sending him to the pound or to shelter. The weak lie that they tried to use about the cat being diseased or feral is disgusting. I think the city should get ready to pay out some coin on this one.

  16. Oh is it going to be on Monday, City of Raymore. I live close enough and have been there enough to know empirecookie is absolutely right.

    An apology is simply inadequate. Both the dispatcher and the officer should be placed on leave without pay at a minimum and preferably fired.

    All the information below comes from Raymore’s website.
    _________

    Filing a complaint

    If you have a complaint against an officer at any time, feel free to call the Communications Center at (816) 331-0530 and ask to speak to the Sergeant on duty.

    You may also download a copy of the Citizen Complaint Process Brochure and a Citizen Complaint Form and return it to the Police Department.

    All complaints will be handled in a professional and expeditious manner.

    _________

    Human Resources (816) 331-0488

    Mayor & City Council (816) 331-3324

    Police Department (816) 331-0530

    Public Relations (816) 892-3109

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