Multiple state and local laws violated—national nonprofit offers help to establish humane programs
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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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 more than half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives cats and kittens nationwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org.