In Ohio, animal rights activists (and others) are calling for the termination of Humane Officer Barry Accorti after he allegedly shot five kittens on Monday because the shelter was already too full. He reportedly told the family with children that the cats would be going to “kitty heaven.” Accorti is a retired North Ridgeville Police Department sergeant and I am only glad he retired before the county jail became overcrowded.
The Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wants Accorti charged with five counts of animal cruelty. He has been working as a part-time humane officer with the department. He responded to a home reporting a feral mother cat and her five kittens were living in a woodpile. He reportedly said that the shelters were full and that the five, 8- to 10-week-old kittens would be going to heaven. The home owner said that Accorti admitted that he was not supposed to do this but that it was justifiable.
Accorti’s account is captured in the police report which includes the following:
“The wood piles were located next to a concrete patio approximately ten feet from the residence. The homeowner advised that the feral cats were causing flea problems within the residence, a foul odor, and leaving deceased wildlife in her yard . . . The homeowner was advised that, due to her safety concerns (proximity of wood pile to house, number of children at the residence, diseases feral cats can develop, fleas, unsanitary conditions), assistance could be rendered but the cats would be euthanized. The complainant agreed to accept assistance and the officer started to dismantle the wood pile . . . The complainant’s husband advised that the mother feral cat had been roaming around for several years and he had tried to remove the feral kittens himself but they would hiss and growl at him. . . . The complainant explained she felt overwhelmed due to the fact that her children were inside the residence and heard the gunshots.”
Now here is the kicker from Police Chief Mike Freeman:
“After visiting the scene, talking with the responding officer and re-interviewing the complainant, I have decided his actions were appropriate and have decided not to impose any disciplinary measures for the incident. We will talk with the humane officers about improving their communications with the public. We are here to help those who seek our assistance.”
So an officer shots five kittens near a home with children inside and the problem is merely one of “communications”?
What do you think? According to Freeman, the problem comes down to this . . .