Story Archive

A Dangerous Animal

Tom Newhart’s cat, known as Sugar, escaped, and the man worried the animal might get hurt. A neighbor found Sugar and called the police. The cop “came upon an attack in violation of the borough ordinance with an animal that had no tags; no sign of ownership; was injured,” said the officer’s lawyer, Gary Asteak. Asteak said North Catasauqua, Pa., Police Officer Leighton Pursell “had no choice but to do what he did,” he says. “He viewed the animal as injured, snarling and a threat to public safety on a private property owner’s property who wanted it gone.” The officer poked at the hiding, hissing cat, but did not bother calling animal control, Newhart’s lawyer said. Instead, Pursell shot him with his service revolver. After an online petition and an investigation, District Attorney John Morganelli decided to charge Pursell not with a misdemeanor, but only with a summary offense of animal cruelty — and Asteak said he’ll fight even that. (AC/Lehigh Valley Express-Times) ...If you think a housecat is so dangerous you have no choice but to shoot it, you need a security blanket, not a badge and gun.
Original Publication Date: 08 May 2016
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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