Target: North Catasauqua Police Chief Douglas F. Kish
Goal: Punish police officer who reportedly shot and killed someone’s escaped pet cat for no reason.
An escaped indoor pet cat was allegedly shot to death by a police officer who was called to help safely catch her and bring her home. Mike Lienert, the owner of the home where she was found, called the police because he was afraid she was injured. Instead of assisting the citizen, Officer Leighton Pursell reportedly told him to his face that “it may not be politically correct, but if it’s injured we’ll put it down.”
The cat, Sugar, was not injured, merely cautious of the officer, as many cats are of strangers. The officer poked at her when she was found hiding under a grill until she came out and walked over to some steps, then sat down. Other than hissing at him a little, Lienert reports that she was not aggressive and did not seem to be injured at all. Moments later, Officer Pursell blew the innocent cat away and told Lienert that he’d have to “clean up the mess.”
Nothing in this story makes any sense. If most dogs are no threat to armed police officers, then an eight-pound house cat should never be treated with deadly force. These reports paint a picture of a police officer who simply wanted to shoot a defenseless animal. To make things worse, this officer is still on the force and no animal cruelty charges have been filed. Sign our petition to demand that Officer Pursell is fired if these allegations are found to be true.
Dear Chief Kish,
I cannot understand how Sugar the cat ended up dead at the hands of one of your officers when he was simply called to help catch her safely in case she was injured. Officer Leighton Pursell told the man who called the police that he would have to “put it down” if the cat was found to be injured, which doesn’t make sense. Worse, even though it did not appear that Sugar had sustained injury, he shot her at point blank range anyway, killing her.
If it’s your department’s policy to shoot and kill any small domestic pet that appears to be injured, that needs to change immediately. However, no injuries or lacerations were found on the cat’s body other than the gunshot wound. Either way, it certainly seems like any full grown man should be able to handle an eight-pound domestic cat without reaching for his gun.
I understand that an investigation is underway, but there doesn’t seem to be any reasons that an officer should have to resort to gun violence when dealing with someone’s pet cat. Now her owner is stricken with grief because of what Officer Pursell did. I demand that if the investigation finds him guilty, he be immediately removed from the force for unnecessary cruelty.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Leveetated