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Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 27, 2013
Contact: FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@kellenadams.com or (202) 207-1134

ALLEY CAT ALLIES CONDEMNS FLORIDA SHERRIFS INACTION IN WALTON COUNTY CAT SHOOTING
State anti-cruelty law clear: Resident violated law and should be charged

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for cats, today condemned a Florida sheriff’s office for failure to act in the wake of the brutal shooting of a cat by a Freeport, Fla., resident.

Alley Cat Allies had asked the Walton County Sheriff’s office to investigate an act of animal cruelty in late August after a resident fatally shot MommaCat, a beloved orange tabby who lived as part of a local Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. The sheriff’s office announced Friday it has declined to charge the resident.

“This is a blatant denial of justice and a violation of Florida law, of societal law, and of natural law,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “The law clearly states that a person who ‘kills any animal…in a cruel or inhumane manner’ has committed an act of animal cruelty. Allowing that deed to go uncharged and unpunished is an outrage.”

Though the cat’s caregivers saw the resident shoot MommaCat twice at close range, the sheriff’s office chose to interpret the killing as “not inhumane,” deciding that it “did not result in a cruel death to an animal.”

“To minimize the severity of this resident’s actions is itself inhumane,” countered Robinson. “By what definition is a senseless and violent killing not also a cruel killing?”

Robinson said the sheriff’s decision “sends the wrong message” on cruelty toward outdoor cats.

Nearly 2,000 Florida residents answered Alley Cat Allies’ call to action and contacted Walton County officials urging them to investigate the animal cruelty case.

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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 website is www.alleycat.org.