On August 20, Some Guy in Gorham, ME called police to report that a limping cat had scratched or bitten his child and that he suspected the cat had rabies. The Gorham police sent an ACO to the scene at 7pm. The ACO was unable to immediately trap the animal and so called for a police officer to come shoot the limping cat with a 16 gauge shotgun. Which is the next obvious step after the limping cat, having been diagnosed as possibly rabid by Some Guy, refused to walk immediately into a trap. There are zero steps in between Immediately Secure Cat in Trap and Blast Cat with 16 Gauge Shotgun.
After being shot, the cat ran off into the woods for 4 days. He finally emerged in the yard of a woman who has been feeding him on her back deck for years. He was trapped and taken to an area shelter. He is being monitored by a vet as his front leg bones are shattered from the shotgun pellets and may require surgery to repair. It’s painful to even imagine the suffering this cat endured for 4 days after being shot.
Lt. Chris Sanborn of the Gorham PD said the department will investigate itself in the matter, the officer who shot the cat is still on duty, and that officer is not being named. Also, he doesn’t know what to do if a cat diagnosed by Some Guy as possibly rabid doesn’t immediately limp into a trap:
Sanborn said his department follows state protocol for dealing with animals that police suspect may be rabid, including trapping the animal so it can be quarantined while veterinarians determine if it is infected. Sanborn said he did not know what the protocol is for situations where the animal cannot be caught.
If you don’t know, start shooting. I think that’s what it says on the sides of police cars.
The cat, now named Clark, is having his vet bills paid by the police department. He is not rabid but is reportedly very friendly and loving. The lady who has been feeding him on her property is worried the shelter will kill him.
An ACO obviously ill equipped for the job. A police officer ready, willing and able to fulfill cat shooting requests upon demand. A supervisor prepared to provide cover for these heinous actions. A shelter where citizens fear their pets will be killed. Yay public servants.
(Thank you Clarice for the link.)