VA Police Officer Beats Injured Cat to Death

A good Samaritan in Harrisonburg, VA picked up an injured cat on the road on November 11 and took him home, contacting authorities.  A police officer responded to the call and told the good Sam he had two choices – let the cat suffer and die or let the officer kill the cat.

Unless this officer is also a veterinarian who travels with diagnostic testing equipment, I don’t know how he determined that the cat was medically hopeless but that’s what reportedly was said.  I doubt the officer had a microchip scanner either to see if the owner had permanently identified the cat in case of emergency.  But I guess, you know – meh.

The good Sam chose to allow the officer to “euthanize” the cat:

“I told the officer I didn’t have the stomach or nerves to put an animal down,” [the good Samaritan] said. “The officer said he would take care of it. I went inside and braced to hear a shot.”

Instead, he looked out the window and saw the officer drawing his baton. He said he went to the kitchen so he wouldn’t see what was about to happen. He estimated that the officer struck the cat 15 to 20 times.

By the time the brutal killing was over with, the good Sam had tears in his eyes.  He looked outside to see blood everywhere and damage to the siding on his home.  I assume the baton wielding was so violent that the officer could not control the weapon and caused damage to the siding.  The good Sam was so upset, he could not stay in his home that night.

I’m not trying to be morbid here but just close your eyes for a minute and picture an injured cat in need of help.  Then count to 20.  It’s unbearable.  I can not fathom the level of barbarism required to commit such an atrocity, let alone get my head around the notion that we are talking about a police officer, sworn to protect and to serve the community.  This cat may have had an owner but the officer apparently didn’t bother to check.  If the cat had no owner or his owner was unknown at the time of the call, he was a community pet.  Serve.  Protect.

The officer has not been named and the department will not say whether he was disciplined.

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34 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  November 27, 2011

    Inexcusable. If anyone else had done that, they could be arrested for cruelty.

    Why were there only two choices offered? Suffering or beating to death? Do the police have no procedures for injured animals? Is there no emergency vet?

    Police are supposed to be professionals. This was the act of a monster.

    Reply
    • I am sitting here with tears in my eyes looking at my beloved Cat. She had been abandoned in a garbage dumpster as a very very young kitten. I can’t imagine any one being so cruel to any of god’s creatures.this Police officer needs to be fired from his job and brought up on charges.In my eyes he is a not worth carrying a shield !!!!

      Reply
  2. socialmange

     /  November 27, 2011

    I am sickened by the behaviour of the officer who beat an injured cat to death.

    First, that officer had no right to decide to euthanize the animal; he is not a veterinarian, he is not qualified to determine the cat’s probability of survival.

    Next, the officer behaved in a psychotic manner by beating a living being to death. This man should be put on mental health leave and thoroughly assessed for his fitness to deal with the public. His behaviour was unwarranted and is very frightening. It goes beyond animal cruelty, although he should be prosecuted for animal cruelty.

    Harrisonburg will have serious credibility and trust issues in its police department if this officer continues in his position.

    I hope I am never hit by a car in Harrisonburg, since it appears that the police will just beat an injured being to death.

    Reply
    • Donna Lusthoff

       /  November 28, 2011

      He didn’t euthanize the cat, he murdered it.

      Reply
      • Donna Lusthoff

         /  November 28, 2011

        Beating a living thing to death has to be horribly painful. If he felt the cat needed to be euthanized-that’s one thing. One shot would have done the deed without the horrible suffering this creature endured. What kind of people do things like this? The kind that animal abuse agencies try to bring up for felony charges. Will that be done to this – – officer?

  3. socialmange

     /  November 27, 2011

    Contact info page for Harrisonburg, VA police department. I suggest faxing since e-mail and web submissions can be filtered for key words and deleted without being read.

    http://www.harrisonburgva.gov/index.php?id=299

    Reply
  4. mikken

     /  November 27, 2011

    Care2 has a petition –

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/440/justice-for-cat-beaten-by-police/

    But yes, fax as well so at least someone sees it…

    Reply
  5. I hope the person who reported this act will post the officers name ..on FB would be nice,, I’d have a field day with it.

    Reply
  6. “I’m not trying to be morbid here but just close your eyes for a minute and picture an injured cat in need of help. Then count to 20. It’s unbearable.” – You paint a gruesome picture, brought home by this statement here. Shocking. I hope this police officer is well and truly disciplined.

    Reply
  7. I too would fear to stay in my house after this or ever want to call a police for help again. Please lets hope that this man is released from his job as he has no clue what his mission should be.

    Reply
  8. socialmange

     /  November 27, 2011

    Well, sumgun. Harrisonburg Police Department has disabled its comments web page. I wunder why?

    Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

    WebPageComments@harrisonburgva.gov

    Technical details of permanent failure:
    Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 No such user (WebPageComments@harrisonburgva.gov) (state 14).

    Reply
  9. Arlene

     /  November 27, 2011

    I’m mortified! That a police officer could do such a thing to an injured animal is beyond my comprehension. I’m beginning to think that this sort of person seeks out positions in which they have a God Complex; that is that they decide who lives and who dies.

    To beat an innocent injured animal to death is just plain sick. He had no right to do that. He needs to be fired because his actions are such that there could be no trust in him or his abilities at all to the right thing in any situation. The next time it could be a person who that officer deemed not worthy of life.

    Reply
  10. Callie

     /  November 27, 2011

    This is unbelievable. I understand when someone has to kill an animal that is mauling a person as sad as it may be but what the hell can an injured cat do to anyone? Maybe the cat was in too bad of shape to survive, but like it was said earlier, the policeman is not God, or much less even a vet. I hope his police department fires him. I wouldn’t call the cops even if someone broke into my house if someone with those morals was coming to my aid. I feel so bad for the poor Samaritan who was only trying to help an injured cat.

    Reply
  11. Eucritta

     /  November 27, 2011

    The newspaper also failed. This is the headline on the story as it appears as of 6.16 p.m. Pacific time: Harrisonburg Officer Euthanizes Cat with Baton.

    Euthanizes.

    We all know this was not euthanasia. There is no method of euthanasia, even assuming such was necessary, that requires the use of a truncheon.

    It’s past time we stopped using euphemisms for violence and its tools.

    Harrisonburg Policeman Beats Cat to Death with Truncheon.

    There. Fixed.

    Reply
  12. Ann Mitchell

     /  November 27, 2011

    If it’s not kids, adults, police officers, better yet, ACO’s and shelters being cruel we would have nothing to discuss….I pray for the day! Over and over this happens, over and over comments are made and nothing ever changes…I cannot imagine being cruel to anything or anyone except Michael Vick and maybe the above mentioned law officer and our shelter director and the employees and some of the volunteers. Whoops….my list of grudges is getting too long!!!

    Reply
  13. I wonder how this “peace officer” treats his children…

    Reply
  14. ezbuddy

     /  November 28, 2011

    Just another cat hater, cleverly disquised as a police officer.

    Reply
  15. Nelson's Mama

     /  November 28, 2011

    I haven’t read the articles or the comments, so this may have already have been asked and addressed, but if the cat was that gravely injured – could he not have used his sidearm to humanely and kindly ended it’s suffering?

    Reply
    • I’m guessing.. every time you discharge your weapon.. you have to have a good reason for doing so. Makes no sense that cops don’t have a problem shooting pet dogs.. in their own yards.

      Reply
      • I’m guessing the injured cat wasn’t attacking him…

      • Nelson's Mama

         /  November 28, 2011

        I thought of that.

        There was a similar situation here in my town; an officer shot a cat that been hit by a car (it was severely injured and there is no after hours vet care available). But, then when he thought no one was looking he tossed it into a ditch…

  16. angela brown

     /  November 28, 2011

    Why wasn’t the Humane Society, SPCA or local shelter contacted? Why didn’t Good Sammy take this cat to a vet? Why were the POLICE called? Are there NO animal shelters anywhere around there? and after the ”officer” suggested the 2 choices, WHY the hell did good Sammy let it happen? Why didn’t he drive the cat to a VET?

    Reply
  17. This unspeakable “thing” was/is not human. He is a monster clad is a uniform which he obviously thinks gives him the authority to act out his shit on any living creature who can’t stand up and shout “NO”. I wouldn’t be too proud if I were that good Sam either. When he saw the cop draw his truncheon, he could have stopped it, and didn’t, why?

    In other news, the entire world has gone completely wonky.

    Reply
  18. The really sad thing here for me is that I am no in the least shocked. The act and my imagining the event sickens me, but not that it occurred. They are not offering transparency..Surprised?? Nah..and the violence?? Just take a look at how the are handling the peaceful protesters. Beating pregnant woman and pepper spraying an elderly woman. la -la -la..Yuppers we live in a police state. I won’t be calling them for anything.

    Reply
  19. ruth mccullough

     /  November 28, 2011

    what oart of ‘protect’ & “serve’ does this officer not understand? and does he carry out his medical diagnostics on human crime victima too? be afraid, very afraid.

    Reply
  20. Lorraine Martinez

     /  November 28, 2011

    Maybe he recognized it as one of those Senior Kitties with RABIES from Middlesex, NJ….

    Reply
  21. CristyF

     /  November 29, 2011

    http://www.harrisonburgva.gov/index.php?id=312

    Harrisonburg Animal Control’s website, with a facebook page even.

    Reply
  22. Abigoaf

     /  December 1, 2011

    There is a petition on care2.com against the city and the officer, calling for the offending officer to be charged with a felony under Virginia law, just as any citizen would have been if they perpetrated the atrocity. The author is an animal champion, with a history for shutting down websites, businesses, individuals, and even going after police with the full power of the law when animals are harmed like this. Join them and bring justice for the poor cat!

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/440/justice-for-cat-beaten-by-police/

    Reply
  23. Libby Hill

     /  January 6, 2012

    I am totally disgusted by this story!! “TO PROTECT AND SERVE…. LETS ADD AND COVER UP THE WRONGS OF THEIR OWN POLICE SHAME ON THEM!!! I’VE SEEN MORE HUMANITY FROM PEOPLE CONSIDERED THE WORST OF THE WORST!!!!!!!

    Reply
  24. animal lover

     /  May 16, 2012

    This monster ( can we really call it a police officer?) should be experienced the same pain that the injured innocent cat suffered, just to be fair. Karma. Hope God is watching. When did the police become allowed to murder a defendless animal? Aren’t they supposed to protect it?! so corrupt.

    Reply
  25. rfs

     /  September 1, 2012

    fire that officer and he shouild seek psychological help – he is a menace.

    Reply

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