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Outrage Grows After Ohio Humane Officer Shoots and Kills 5 Kittens | Life With Cats

Outrage and controversy are growing after an incident at the home of a North Ridgeville, Ohio resident yesterday. The resident contacted the police at Facebook, asking for help with a family of feral cats living in her woodpile that she said were bringing fleas and foul odors to her home and property, and leaving the carcasses of small prey in the yard.
One of the community’s two humane officers, a former long-time member of the police force, was quickly dispatched to the scene, and after letting the woman know the kittens would be killed in response to her complaint, took out his gun and shot them dead.
The woman says she understood the kittens would be “euthanaized” but did not espect them to be killed in such a brutal manner at the scene, with her children inside nearby.
The police department is standing behind Humane Officer Barry Accorti, and Chief Michael Freeman says there will be no disciplinary action taken against him. Chief Freeman said, “I have decided his actions were appropriate and have decided not to impose any disciplinary measures,” but added that the department will speak with its humane officers “about improving their communications with the public.”


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I can completely understand the kittens needing to be euthanized. But to shoot them in the woman's yard, just feet from where her children sat inside the house?

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if they were kittens why would they need to be killed at all? Wouldnt they stand a decent chance of becoming family pets? that is brutal
 

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There are way too many cats in Ohio shelters. I am not surprised they chose to kill them, especially if the kittens are already hunting.

But, there are live traps. They did not need to go and kill them with a gun at the woman's home.

Frankly, shooting them was probably just as quick and painless as the purple juice, but one should not call a humane officer for an animal complaint, only to have the creatures killed in front of them.

I have never held the position, but I will go so far as to hold the opinion that it could have been handled better.
 

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with the vast numbers of cats already in shelters, the chance of rehabbing and socializing feral kittens is somewhere between slim and none at all. Depending on their age, it can be next to impossible for them to live in a human household.
So, in many places, they euthanize the cats.

I can understand that philosophy. But to just pull out a gun and shoot them in the yard seems a bit overkill. They weren't an immediate threat so trapping them would have been a possibility
 

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yeah, I can even empathize with shooting the cats IF NECESSARY. However, I don't see it as a first option. Especially in someone's backyard.
 

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Wow...and I thought Calif was bad. There's a reason why they are called humane officers. His actions were not humane in the least bit. He needs to find another job that suits him better. I guess all those years as an officer shooting at fellow human beings, cats mean even less to him.
 

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Remember that feral colonies are BIG carriers of rabies.... I don't think I would want to try to catch feral cats that might possibly be carrying rabies.
Not sure how else it could have been handled if they were truly feral, trying to catch them or live trap them probably would not have worked, someone was liable to be bitten.
 

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Ohio is actually good at something. We have feral cat spay and release programs, and they manage to catch them, spay them, notch their ears and release them. I don't know how they manage it without being bitten though. I guess somewhere between the live traps, and, I don't know, maybe a can of tuna fish.

I am a few counties over from N. Ridgeville. Usually each year we have a skunk or raccoon or squirrel found with rabies. Usually nothing epidemic. We do put forth rabies bait for raccoons. And my guess is they probably give rabies injections to the spay/release ferals.
 

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Completely uncalled for, maybe they should shoot the people that keep getting cats that don't fix them, then let them outside:mad: I've only had 1 feral cat out of about 10 that didn't do well. Even that one was okay in the house, but never socialized with people. They all seem to really like dogs though. Presently I have two ferals in my house. Oddly the one that was younger when it was brought in is not as friendly as the one that was older. The older one sleeps with me every night and gives me kisses. She was part of a TNR, ear tip cut and all. She is probably my best cat.
 

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Since when do Humane Officer's have guns?
 

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I'd be upset too if that happened to me. I can understand euthanizing ferals if the shelter is full of adoptable cats/kittens, but to shoot them sounds rather extreme to me.

But who knows, maybe it's easier on the little creatures to be shot than it would be to endure being captured, crated, driven to a strange place, handled by strange people only to be put down ... IMHO that would be terrifying to a feral kitten. We had a big problem with feral cats here until one of the neighbors trapped them and took them to the shelter. There are a lot of farms here and it's my understanding ferals have a chance of being adopted as barn cats ... don't know if that's true or not but I like to think it is.
 

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Since when do Humane Officer's have guns?
This isn't uncommon in rural areas. I know sometimes animal control officers out around where my parents live in Alabama will carry guns in their trucks to dispatch badly wounded deer from car collisions and so forth. They have a lot of road-injured deer around there, and dispatching them on the spot is kinder than carrying a large, panicked, mortally wounded wild animal back to a vet to be euthanized.

I don't know if that is applicable to the community in this news story, though, as I'm not familiar with that area at all.
 

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Even in Wyoming, if you are animal control or humane officer, you have to be able to pass a check for guns and carry one, usually a pistol.......
. I assume other states are the same. Probably one reason is how many reports are we seeing about humans telling their dogs to attack officers if they come to pick them up for whatever reason, or having to shoot dogs attacking a human or putting an animal for whatever reason out of its misery.
Hope the background checks are good ones.
 

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Since when did death by shooting become inhumane?
 

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Since when did death by shooting become inhumane?
It's not the method of dispatch that's at issue here (for me) so much as doing it right in front of a bunch of kids who thought you were going to help the kittens.
 

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Dead is dead. Does it really matter if it was by injection or gun shot? Is the complaint more about the fact the euthanizing was up close and personal, and not hidden behind closed doors? Now she can't tell her children that the nice man is going to take the kittens and find them good homes?

As long as the shots were good, and the kittens didn't suffer, it is what it is.
Sheilah
 

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Dead is dead. Does it really matter if it was by injection or gun shot? Is the complaint more about the fact the euthanizing was up close and personal, and not hidden behind closed doors? Now she can't tell her children that the nice man is going to take the kittens and find them good homes?
Well, yeah, it kinda does.

I think a homeowner has a right to be upset if gunshots are fired in their yard. Ricochets happen. Accidents happen. They certainly don't happen often but I'm not going to say it's an unreasonable concern. Euthanizing the kittens via lethal injection at the shelter would have been safer.

I also think a parent has a right to be upset if somebody shoots fuzzy little baby animals in front of their kids, particularly if there's an expectation that the animals are going to be helped, not summarily put down. The unpleasant reality of the world is that kittens do get put down all the time, and it's not always possible for parents to shelter their children from that reality -- but, again, I'm not going to say it's unreasonable for them to be upset at having their kids' faces shoved in it so abruptly. Especially, again, when there was a reasonable expectation that something very different was going to happen, and she didn't even have a chance to tell the kids to look away. That's one heck of a nasty surprise.

And, finally, having that happen so unexpectedly foreclosed the possibility that the homeowner could have done anything different. If she had known the kittens were going to be put down (and put down so brusquely), maybe she would have chosen to adopt them. Maybe she would have tried to rehabilitate and rehome them herself. Maybe she would have reached out to a rescue. We don't know, and we never will, because the family didn't get the chance.
 

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Yeah, I guess the issue was that the kids could hear it inside the house.

Idk, when I was a little girl, these things were a matter of course. But we were pretty poor, and pretty country. Animals died. Cattle went to slaughter. Chickens went in the stewpot. A dog with a real bad case of mange would get a bullet. The barn cats when there were too many, well, the kittens went in a sack in a bucket of water. Now, that was probably inhumane. And today, I would definitely treat the mange. Not saying that was all right and proper, but it was realistic in my great grandparents' home.

Death is natural and it's too bad our children are so artificially protected from it today. There aren't enough homes for all the feral cats, domesticated cats, and stray and abandoned dogs in the world. That's the sadder truth, and something children could actually benefit from knowing.
 
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