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Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 28, 2013
Contact: VAISHALI HONAWAR, vhonawar@alleycat.org or (240) 482-2580

ALLEY CAT ALLIES ASKS WALTON COUNTY, FL., TO INVESTIGATE BRUTAL SHOOTING OF CAT
Shooter’s actions violate Florida animal cruelty laws, national advocacy group says in letter to sheriff

BETHESDA, MD—Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for cats, has written a letter to the Walton County Sheriff’s office asking it to investigate the brutal shooting of a cat by a Freeport resident as an act of animal cruelty.

The letter to Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson, Jr., signed by Elizabeth Holtz, an attorney for Alley Cat Allies, points out that the shooter’s actions are in direct violation of a Florida statute that says “a person who intentionally commits an act to any animal… which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering… commits aggravated animal cruelty, a felony of the third degree.”

The shooting was witnessed by two caregivers who looked after the outdoor cat. The witnesses said the cat was simply walking toward one of the caregivers when the resident shot her. Even as the caregiver screamed and begged the man to stop, he ignored her and shot the cat again in the head, killing her. After killing the cat, a witness said, the shooter stated he got the “wrong one.”

The caregivers lodged a complaint with the Walton County Sherriff’s office. Inexplicably, the report from the sheriff’s office states that “no criminal act was noted.”

“We are shocked that the sheriff’s office would turn a blind eye to such a heinous act of animal cruelty” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “The cat was simply walking toward the caregiver to get her food. This man pulled out a gun and shot an innocent animal in cold blood.”

Robinson added that the cat was part of a local Trap-Neuter-Return program wherein feral cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and then returned to their outdoor colonies where they live out the rest of their lives.

“By not investigating this shooting … the Walton County Sheriff’s Office is sending a message that flagrant violence to animals is acceptable,” Holtz wrote in the letter. “Extensive psychological and criminological research has linked violence to animals to a litany of other violent behaviors.”

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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 nearly 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. Their web site is www.alleycat.org.