Last weekend, a Macon Co ACO with several years of experience had his AC vehicle parked outside his home. The stench emanating from the truck in the 90 degree heat was overwhelming enough that a neighbor called the police. Sheriff’s deputies came to investigate and discovered a dead groundhog next to a live 4 week old kitten. The animals had been in the truck for 2 days. The kitten was taken to a vet for treatment and is now reportedly doing well in the care of the AC director. The suffering of the kitten is terrible to contemplate but possibly pales in comparison to the suffering of the groundhog:
Police are still investigating details of the case and couldn’t say for sure if the groundhog had also been dead when it was placed inside the truck.
“At this point, I am not 100 percent sure either way,” said Lt. Jeff Scheibly, who oversees animal control. “It may have died in the back of the truck.”
The ACO reportedly told police he knew about the groundhog being in the truck but “was unaware he had left the kitten” there. He was arrested and charged with one count of animal cruelty. Jail time is described as “very unlikely”. An internal disciplinary hearing will determine if the ACO receives anything from a reprimand up to termination. He has been suspended with pay.
If the investigation reveals the groundhog was alive at the time he was placed in the truck, I hope a second charge of animal cruelty will be filed against the officer. And if this ACO is found guilty, I hope Macon Co does the right thing and terminates him. I’ll post an update on this case if I come across one but please help me by looking out for developments on this story.
(Thank you Clarice for sending me the link.)
Note: The original title of this post incorrectly identified the state as Georgia and has been corrected to Illinois.