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Call for Action After Police Officer Traps and Kills Pet Cat

POLICE OFFICER ADMITS TO SHOOTING AND KILLING PET CAT—ALLEY CAT ALLIES CALLS ON BLOOMFIELD, NEBRASKA TO TAKE ACTION

Multiple state and local laws violated—national nonprofit offers help to establish humane programs

Larry

Larry

BETHESDA, MD – Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today called for city leaders in Bloomfield, Neb. to reevaluate their policies for cats after a police officer unlawfully shot and killed a trapped pet cat. City officials fail to enforce existing state and local laws regarding animals.

The case involves a Bloomfield police officer, who admitted that on January 21, he trapped Larry, a two-year-old neutered cat who belonged to a local resident, shot him immediately and dumped his body behind a city maintenance shed.

“The Officer openly admitted this series of events took place, and was given a mere written warning. In other words, a sworn law enforcement officer received a slap on the wrist for violating several laws—that is unconscionable,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies.

Local ordinances and state laws broken include Bloomfield ordinance § 6-112, which requires that captured and impounded dogs and cats should be “treated in a humane manner” and “kept and maintained at the pound for a period” of three to five days. According to local residents, this law is routinely violated, Robinson said.

Additional local and state laws broken by the Officer’s action:

Bloomfield ordinance § 6-106—states that owners of cats and dogs found outside “shall be notified in writing by the Police Department of their violation,” meaning Larry should have been impounded and the owners notified that he was at large. Bloomfield ordinance § 6-107—authorizes the killing by officers of dogs and cats whose “capture is impossible.” Because the Officer was able to trap Larry, clearly capture was not “impossible,” and the killing was not authorized. Nebraska State Law R.R.S. Neb. § 28-1009, which states that “a person who cruelly mistreats an animal is guilty of a Class I misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class IV felony for any subsequent offense;” and defines cruel mistreatment as “knowingly and intentionally kill[ing], maim[ing[, disfigure[ing],” and otherwise harming an animal.

“Laws that protect animals are on the books for a reason,” said Robinson. “They reflect our values as a society—and it is crucial that they are upheld. The fact that a police officer could so blatantly ignore the law is very disturbing and should be a huge red flag for residents and city officials.”

Alley Cat Allies has reached out to town officials and asked for a meeting to develop proper policy and programs to ensure laws are followed—and to provide educational training for staff and police.

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According to an Omaha World-Herald story from February 9, 2013: “Lisa Kilgore, a Des Moines, veterinarian, says the 2-year-old, neutered cat belonged to her parents, who live just outside of town. The cat went missing on Jan. 13, and Kilgore says her mother confronted Officer Wally Holz on Jan. 21. He confirmed he had trapped the cat following complaints of feral cats in town, shot it and dumped its body behind a city maintenance shed.

“Bloomfield Mayor Phil Schroeder said Holz should have impounded the cat for five days to give its owners a chance to claim him. Schroeder says it’s the first time the 15-year police veteran has been disciplined.”

 

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Larry the cat is remembered by his family in this February news video:

Teresa Kauth told ABC 9 news that “I had this sick feeling, I had heard rumors, over the years, that one of the city’s police officers was trapping cats and shooting them.”

According to Mayor Schroeder, there has been a problem with feral cats in the Bloomfield area, but that doesn’t excuse Officer Holz’s behavior. “Larry” should have been impounded for five days and Kilgore’s parents contacted. At the very least, had he been impounded, “Larry” might have found another home.

Mayor Schroeder said that “If there is any further violation of the city code, it will be dealt with more severely, including termination of employment.”

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About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has nearly half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org.

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5 comments

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    March 7, 2014 1:14 pmPosted 5 months ago
    Patricia Bell

    The fact that this “cop” could so coldly shoot & kill a defensless cat tells a lot about his lack of empathy, and the cruelty is barbaric! He should have gotten more than what he got & it’s scary someone so cruel can be a cop. My heart goes out to Larry’s family and I hope they continue to fight for justice, I would.

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    March 7, 2014 1:56 pmPosted 5 months ago
    Sue Bingley

    Seriously.? Lapse of judgement?!!!!.Such a person should not hold the position he has! How many more ‘lapses’ has he had?. Big hugs go to the family… Xxx

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    March 10, 2014 5:03 pmPosted 5 months ago
    Thomas Talus

    The fact is, in the future this “officer” will merely not admit that he killed a cat. I am sure there have been many others, he just happened to admit to the owner(bragging and intimidation, no doubt) that he had done so. These are the textbook actions of a serial killer in the making. This person should not be allowed to be using or owning a firearm, let alone be in a position of unquestioned authority. This reads like the script from a Lifetime movie of a bad cop in a small town.

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    March 11, 2014 9:25 pmPosted 5 months ago
    Nancy Ender

    Not all cops are honorable, nor do they obey the laws they are sworn to uphold. This dipshit cop is obviously a cat-hater and has used his position of authority to satisfy his need to torment and kill cats. He’s a cruel creep with a badge and a gun. He makes all cops look bad, and the fact that his bosses let him get away with it makes them look weak and sleazy. Cops should be held to the same level of behavior that they hold the rest of us to.

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    June 21, 2014 9:22 pmPosted 2 months ago
    Gillian Nash

    So the officer had a clean record for 15 years? Doesn’t mean he didn’t kill other cats. He just didn’t get caught. Unless he’s above the law he should get the same penalty as anyone else. This is a crime, not a misdemeanour.

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