A man thought to be a potential adopter visited the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League in Mississippi on Friday, asked to see the cats, then allegedly beat one to a pulp before leaving. The guy was unsupervised as all the staff and vols at the private shelter were chasing a loose dog. The three year old cat, called Tilly, was found in an open cage, battered and bloody, clinging to life. She died later at a vet’s office.
The area where Tilly was found is described as a colony room so it sounds as if she was tortured in view of other cats. There was blood spatter on the walls and a “plastic stick” was in pieces. The man apparently beat Tilly until his weapon fell apart then stomped on her.
Jody Cothron has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in connection with the case. In Mississippi, nearly all animal cruelty offenses are misdemeanors. Police have obtained surveillance video from the shelter.
I totally get that there was an emergency at the shelter because a dog had gotten loose. I get that everyone was looking out for the dog’s well being by chasing him around and leaving the guy in the cat colony room unsupervised. But come on people, you need to watch your pets and not leave them alone with strangers.
If a guy walks into a daycare and says he’s interested in looking around because he might want to enroll his kid, you don’t show him into the infant room and leave him alone – even if there’s an emergency. Emergencies happen. They need to be handled in such a way that no one’s safety is compromised.
If it was absolutely an all-hands-on-deck situation that required everyone in the place to help, the first thing that needed to happen was for someone to quickly explain to the visitor that he would need to wait in his car until the dog was captured and then to make sure the guy was out of there. Because apparently unsupervised adopters beating shelter pets is a thing now. FFS.