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For Immediate Release: April 4, 2014
Contact: JOHNNIE SIMPSON, media@alleycat.org or (240) 482-3895

NATIONAL AND NEBRASKA ANIMAL PROTECTION ORGANIZATIONS CALL ON KNOX COUNTY AUTHORITIES TO PROSECUTE OFFICER FOR SHOOTING, KILLING CAT
Letters sent to county, state attorneys general and state patrol demanding investigation and justice for officer’s violation of several state and local laws

BETHESDA, MD – Four animal protection groups, including Alley Cat Allies and Best Friends Animal Society, submitted letters to the Knox County, Neb. attorney general, as well as the attorney general for the state of Nebraska and the state patrol, demanding an investigation and justice in the case of a Bloomfield, Neb. police officer who, according to city documents, shot and killed a resident’s pet cat in January.

The letters are co-signed by national organizations Alley Cat Allies and Best Friends Animal Society and Nebraska nonprofits National Rescue Council—which represents 85 shelters and rescues across the state—and The Cat House—a nonprofit no-kill shelter and adoption center located in Lincoln, Neb.

The reports of this cruel act created a frenzy on social media—including more than 15,000 posts by individuals on Facebook and an online T-shirt campaign—distributing shirts with an image of Larry and the phrase “Justice for Larry.” A petition posted online by Alley Cat Allies, demanding justice for Larry received more than 30,000 signatures.

“Numerous state and local laws have been violated,” says Becky Robinson, founder and president of Alley Cat Allies. “Yet the officer has not been charged with a crime or reprimanded beyond a written statement. It is outrageous that his egregious actions have not been punished.”

According to the letter submitted to state and county authorities, the day that Larry went missing, his family searched the surrounding area desperately—going door-to-door seeking information. They alerted the local veterinary office that serves as the Bloomfield shelter and posted about his disappearance on Facebook. Larry’s owners called the Chief of Police. The chief left a voicemail on Larry’s owner’s phone stating that Larry had been trapped by police and a police officer fatally shot him and discarded his body in a salvage yard. Soon after, the owners retrieved Larry’s body from the yard.

State and local laws in question include animal cruelty laws, laws governing the disposition of dead animals and animal control ordinances governing owner notification and impoundment of stray animals.

“The fact that these laws were broken by a law enforcement officer is reprehensible,” says Robinson. “Bloomfield’s failure to adequately address these violations represents a serious threat to the safety of Bloomfield citizens. Nebraska citizens should be able to depend on their police officers to uphold the law.”

Alley Cat Allies has scheduled a meeting with the mayor of Bloomfield, Neb. in April to discuss humane programs for the city, including Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for community cats, and has offered humane training for city staff and law enforcement.

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About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has over half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org.

About Best Friends Animal Society®
Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement since its founding in 1984, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from 17 million per year to 4 million. Best Friends has the knowledge, technical expertise and on-the-ground network to end the killing and Save Them All®. Its website is www.bestfriends.org.

About The Cat House
On any given day, The Cat House in Lincoln, Neb. offers a home to around 150 cats and kittens of all ages, health conditions and temperaments until they find their forever homes. The Cat House also operates a Trap-Neuter-Return program to humanely control the feral cat population. The Cat House was founded in 1998 by a small group of Lincolnites who saw the need for a no-kill alternative for local cats. The organization continues to be managed and staffed by volunteers and funded by donations. Its website is www.thecathouse.org.