A 911 call reporting an injured cat in a yard ended up with the cat dead of a gunshot wound. It happened in North Catasauqua, just north of Allentown, Penn. The cat's name was Sugar, and she lived with her owner just a few doors down.
"She knew her name," said owner Tom Newhart. "If you'd call her, she'd come to you."
A North Catasauqua policeman responded to the call and evaluated the situation. According to the Northampton District Attorney, the cop noted injuries to the cat's hind legs and that she was trailing blood. He made the decision then and there to put the cat down.
"Officer Purcell made a decision to -- in his judgment -- humanely end the cat's life and suffering," announced Northampton DA John Morganelli, at a news conference. "Officer Purcell fired a single shot from his department-issued .38 caliber service revolver, instantly killing the cat."
And that's when the fur started flying.
The policeman "really didn't show any compassion or common sense knowledge," in the situation, Newhart said at the office of his attorney, Jenna Fliszar. He added that the officer didn't follow the law in regards to Sugar's shooting. Local law allows for police to euthanize an animal once two people have agreed that the severity of the injury warrants it.
Morganelli announced on Monday that he is citing the officer in question, a consequence equivalent to a parking ticket. Morganelli said his investigation revealed that Sugar wasn't as seriously injured as initially believed, and a veterinarian's postmortem report showed that Sugar wasn't hurt much at all, save for the gunshot wound.
Newhart and his attorney are considering attempting civil recourse.