Marion County Code Enforcement Officer Marion Richardson was fired earlier this month after 14 cats he had taken from the county pound were found dead. Richardson has since been charged with misconduct in office and a violation of the state’s animal euthanasia law. Hank Rogers, the county building code and inspections supervisor, has been charged as well.
The arrest warrants filed by the SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED) indicate that Richardson and Rogers went to the Marion Co pound and picked up 14 cats, telling the director the cats would be living on a farm and helping to control rodents. The men then drove the cats to the county landfill where Richardson shot them to death. Although SC law does allow for animal “euthanasia” by gunshot under certain conditions, SLED determined that Richardson had failed to meet these conditions when killing the cats. Ya think? So apparently the law doesn’t specifically say, “OK to use cats for target practice at the dump even if you tell a wee fib to get them from the pound.” Which is lucky, I guess.
One local rescuer who volunteers at the pound says the cats were all friendly and that Richardson has taken groups of Marion Co pound cats – you know, to the farm – many times.
Richardson is currently out on $24,000 bond. His attorney has all the excuses:
“Marion thought he was doing his job. He was called by the animal shelter to pick up the cats and dispose of them. That is exactly what he did. Shooting a feral cat in the back of the head is actually a more humane way of killing it than using carbon monoxide. Marion loves animals and has an indoor cat of his own. It is a wonder anyone would want to be a law enforcement officer when we not only fire them, but charge them with a crime for doing their job.”
Just doing his job. Shooting beats gassing. He’s an animal lover and a cat owner!
Welp, I’m convinced.
Also convincing: Local media, which jumped through the appropriate hoops in order to have their cameras allowed at the bond hearing, was locked out. Nothing suspicious there.
Richardson is due in court on November 29. Rogers is out on $7000 bond and no longer works for the county although I don’t know whether he quit or was fired. Neither man has been charged with animal cruelty. I wonder if both these guys are laying low until their government cronies can get them back on the payroll doing some other “job”, perhaps on the farm, as it were.
(Thanks Nathan and Clarice.)