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OHIO SPCA Attorney Issues Demand to Halt Cat Killings

Press Release

June 18, 2013

OHIO SPCA Issues Demand to Halt Cat Killings

The Ohio SPCA is taking action against city officials in North Ridgeville, Ohio after Officer Barry Accorti shot and killed five kittens on June 10, 2013. Responding to a request from a homeowner to have a mother cat and her kittens removed, Accorti stated that shelters were full and that the cats would be going to kitty heaven. He then retrieved his gun from his truck and walked to the back of the home where he slaughtered the kittens while the horrified homeowner ran into the house to shield her young children from witnessing the violence.

John Bell, attorney for the Ohio SPCA, has sent a letter to the Office of the Mayor, Chief Mike Freeman, and the North Ridgeville Law Department. The letter demands that the Northridge Police Department immediately cease and desist with shooting of cats or the discharge of any firearm on private property, except in a situation where it is absolutely necessary for the protection of life. The letter further demands that Officer Accorti be immediately removed from his position and charged with violation of ORC 959.131 (cruelty to animals) and ORC 2923.162 (discharge of firearm on or near prohibited premises). If officials fail to take the aforementioned actions, the Ohio SPCA will file a lawsuit to stop the illegal killing of animals by the City of North Ridgeville and its employees.

After receiving the call from the homeowner and confirming the facts, the Ohio SPCA released the story to the public. Compassionate people around the world have been outraged. “We are a nation of animal lovers and the needless killing of cats will not be tolerated,” states Teresa Landon, Ohio SPCA Executive Director. “The exposure of this tragic incident has urged numerous North Ridgeville residents to speak out. Statements provided to the Ohio SPCA not only indicate inhumane treatment of animals, but also involve life-threatening circumstances to local residents and animals,” states John Bell.

Mayor David Gillock and Police Chief Mike Freeman have stated that Accorti was following policy and no action against him will be taken. According to Bell, “Shooting a cat is never legal. It is not painless and therefore violates the "immediate and painless" rule contained in the Ohio Revised Code. It is also expressly illegal to “needlessly kill” any ‘companion animal,’ which includes all cats and dogs. No credible authority would ever argue that shooting is an acceptable method of euthanasia.” Bell added that the Ohio SPCA has successfully sued in other Ohio counties to stop the use of gunshot to kill animals.

The Ohio SPCA, Inc. is NOT affiliated with the ASPCA in NYC, and does not receive any government funding.

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