In our story of April 13 of this year, Ohio Town’s Police Investigated on Allegations They Trapped and Killed Cats, we shared the story of disturbing animal cruelty allegations coming out of the Village of Stryker, Ohio, where police were accused of shooting cats and dumping their bodies in the Tiffin River.
A Village of Stryker resident’s complaint brought about an investigation and court case, and led to the issue becoming news.
Ada Pierson, who has three cats of her own, took it upon herself to feed several strays she felt were in need help. Ada told Channel 13 news, “They’re not being fed and they’re not being taken care of,” and “I felt sorry for them.”
The cats disappeared in January after a neighbor complained about cat feces and urine on their property, and Ms. Pierson claimed the local police trapped and killed them, then disposed of their bodies. “They were either shot or they were drowned,” she said. “I think it’s horrible, they did not deserve what got. Why Stryker Police thought it was their duty to do something, I don’t know.”
A cat belonging to neighbor Carol Seehand was inadvertently caught up in the sweep and was shot and killed along with the feral cats. Ms. Seehand filed a complaint against the police chief.
Ms. Pierson contacted the Williams County Humane Society with allegations of animal cruelty, and a Humane Officer lodged a complaint. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department opened an investigation of police practices and the matter was turned over to the prosecutor’s office in Bryan for review. Charges were brought against Stryker Police Chief Steve Schlosser. Prosecutors said Schlosser ordered officers to trap stray cats and shoot them. Officers then dumped the dead animals’ bodies in the river.
In a court appearance last month, Chief Schlosser pleaded no contest to animal cruelty saying, “I’m taking responsibility for my actions and my officers’ actions because that’s what leaders do.” The judge sentenced Schlosser to pay a $500 fine. When asked for a comment on the sentence outside the courtroom, Ada Pierson “I don’t think he should keep his job.”
On the night of Monday June 10 the Stryker Village Council voted to suspend Schlosser for two weeks without pay.
Public reaction continues to be mixed, with those who were outraged at the killings and dumpings feeling that justice was not served and punishment should have been greater, and those who felt the killing of “just cats” was no big deal saying greater punishment was not warranted.
Channel 13’s Christine Long reports that “the people who were calling for the chief to be fired are so angry they don’t want to talk on camera. They say this is another slap on the wrist.”
WTVG ABC 13 provided ongoing coverage of the story since it became news in March through last week’s resolution of the case.