Volunteer at Private Shelter Killed Kitten, Charged with Misdemeanor

Teddy’s Rescue is a 501(c)3 organization in Findlay, OH.  On October 28, 2012, a volunteer named Timothy Mompher intentionally broke a kitten’s neck at the shelter.  He has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.  His attorney claims that he did so at the direction of the former manager, Missy VanWormer.

The kitten was sick and Mr. Mompher said in an interview with The Blade that he was told to “put it out of its misery.”

“Missy [VanWormer] said she didn’t want us to take it to the vet because it was after hours on a Sunday and it would cost too much,” Mr. Mompher said.

Ms. VanWormer reportedly refused to speak with the Toledo Blade, the Hancock Co dog warden or the humane officer investigating the case.  I have no idea if she will be subpoenaed to testify at Mr. Mompher’s trial but I would think her testimony would be important.

The humane officer’s report indicated the kitten suffered as Mr. Mompher struggled to kill him.  It also says “witnesses to the incident included Mr. Mompher’s wife, Susan, the current kennel manager and marketing coordinator for Teddy’s Rescue; Chelsie Hackworth, an animal health-care supervisor at the rescue; and Ms. Hackworth’s husband, Ryan.”

If accurate, the shelter manager ordered the gruesome killing and at least 3 others stood by and watched the kitten being killed.  But the only person being charged is the one who actually killed the pet and that charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.

The man who killed the kitten with his hands scares me just as much as those who stood by watching.  Why didn’t anyone take action to stop the brutality?  Why did no one speak up and demand proper treatment or threaten to call the police?  Where was anyone at this so-called shelter to advocate for this kitten’s right to life?  Even now, as Mr. Mompher is arraigned, where do the shelter’s concerns lie?

John Froton, business director at the rescue, said Mr. Mompher exercised “very poor judgment” but “I would hate for his poor judgment to cause support to end for Teddy’s Rescue.”

I guess that answers that.

(An aside:  Teddy’s Rescue sells dogs for $175 and cats for $60.  Adopters are required to sign a contract which includes the following:

I consent to the examination of this dog by Teddy’s Rescue at any time deemed necessary. Furthermore, Teddy’s Rescue has the right to reclaim the dog at any time for failure to comply with the terms of this contract or for any misrepresentations of fact made on the adoption application or in this contract.

I agree to pay Teddy’s Rescue for any and all expenses, including court costs and attorney fees accrued by enforcing the terms and provisions of this contract.

I would not sign that contract. Furthermore, I believe it is a violation of the U.S. Constitution and would not hold up in court.)

As a condition of bond, the judge ordered all animals be removed from the Mompher home, pending trial.  Protesters held signs outside the courthouse calling for more serious animal cruelty laws.

Someone claiming to be Mr. Mompher’s wife Susan, who watched the kitten being killed and said nothing, posted several comments at the end of the article.

(Thank you Clarice for sending me the link to this story.)

16 thoughts on “Volunteer at Private Shelter Killed Kitten, Charged with Misdemeanor

  1. I feel sick. My GOD when will this all stop! And even if they did TELL him to kill the kitten, so what? I’m sick and tired of these lame laws with minimal fines. I’m glad they took the animals from the rescue but you know damn well if it had been a shelter worker they wouldn’t have closed the shelter. Oh no, they would have “been under investigation” and kept on trucking!

    1. Lita,

      To clarify, the shelter is currently in operation AFAIK. 3 of the people who watched the kitten being killed are still there AFAIK. The only pets removed were those belonging to the defendant and they were removed from his home, not the shelter.

      On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:39 AM, YesBiscuit!

  2. Disgusting! But isn’t this the same as the two MAS employees who WITNESSED abuse in the “Euthanasia Room” and did nothing about it?! THEY are JUST as guilty!!!!

  3. Unacceptable. Completely unacceptable. Who rushes to pull sick kittens without financial resources to back up “worst case scenario”? If they cannot deal with such situations in a correct and humane way, they should not put themselves into that position in the first place.

    I’ve done this – unowned kitten, near death, rush to emergency vet on a Sunday night. I do not run a rescue, I do not have contracts or collect donations. What I do have is a functioning moral compass.

    The fact that they continue to defend not only the killing, but their involvement in it, is highly disturbing.

  4. Is this really any different than the way Michael Vick killed his dogs? I realize the kitten was not fought – but is this killing not just as brutal as ANYTHING we have read? Is this killer not a scary and sick individual who should NOT be allowed to be around ANY animals ever again? And the people who stood by? They are simply as guilty and as scary as the killer…I can hardly think straight reading this. WTH – it’s barbaric – monstrous – callosed – sick behaviour.

  5. legitimate rescues do not sell dogs or cats. we ask for an adoption fee which helps us cover costs incurred to save animals. I think that needs ot be corrected in the article. that said, the killing of that kitten was not done so in a humane/legal way and someone needs to take responsibility for that so the good work the rescue does is not put in jeopardy.

  6. Company called “the good, the bad, the unforgiveable animal rescues is looking to slander any and everyone in this case….they have done this with many other cases with posting that have not been proven to be true I would suggest to contact your attorney on this company. They have been known to misrepresent themselves.

  7. The mentality of someone who would not say NO WAY to something like that is in question. people who do as commanded without question are a very frightening breed of human. RIP poor little soul…

    Everyone who witnessed this and did nothing is as guilty as the killer

  8. Thats terrible. I thought volunteers did work at shelters out of love for animals. How could they let that happen??? This place needs to be shut down and this man tried as well as the manager who told him to do that. Also, all the bystanders are guilty of animal cruelty !!! Disgusting people !!!

  9. If you grew up in the same neighborhood as Mr Mompher, you would understand that this is not unusual behavior for him. He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near animals of any kind…

    1. What kind of neighborhood finds this “not unusual behavior”? The Congo? Tansania? Detroit? This guy is a psycho, the person ordering the execution is insane & the bystanders are crazy to stand by while a neck-breaking is occuring. They ALL need to be denied any activities with animals forever. They’re actions & inactions have proven they shouldn’t be associated with any “rescue” group.

      As I have said, it gets harder & harder to hear these horror stories with innocent animals suffering at the hands of a few “shelters” & “rescue” people.

  10. Terrible. The rescue seems reasonably effective if other web-based evidence is viewed (for what that is worth). I am no legal scholar, but I am curious as to why you consider the rescue’s adoption contract ” a violation of the U.S. Constitution.” I do not think the Constitution or its amendments speak to contract law. Why do you think the contract would not “hold up” in court?

    1. I am not a lawyer but it seems to me to be a violation of the 4th Amendment (below) to the Constitution. There are legal steps that must be taken in order to enter private property and conduct a search and seizure. No rescue group is going to have the necessary qualifications to go through these steps.

      “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

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