Fire Officer Who Allegedly Shot Lost Cat

Target: Douglas F. Kish, Chief of Police, Catasauqua Police Department

Goal: Fire officer for shooting a cat and throwing its body in a garbage can.

A police officer shot and killed a pet cat he was tasked to help find, alleges a distraught homeowner who called the police after his cat escaped from his home. Owner Tom Newhart claims that he called his borough police department’s non-emergency line after repeated searches for his missing orange tabby cat, Sugar, were unsuccessful. A neighbor later saw the cat and called the police to notify them of the cat’s location.

According to the neighbor, the officer poked and prodded at the cat but made little effort to coax it from its hiding spot. The officer then claimed that Sugar was injured and needed to be put down. He then shot her on the spot before throwing her corpse into a nearby garbage can. An autopsy that was conducted before the cat was cremated had cited no visible injury. In a report made after the incident, Officer Leighton Pursell claimed that the cat hissed at him, showing aggression.

Though the District Attorney’s office is conducting an investigation into these claims, the officer has been allowed to continue work as usual, despite the general tendency to suspend any officer involved in a pending investigation involving a shooting. In order to provide justice to Sugar and her owner, it is imperative that this officer not be allowed to continue work with no reprimand. Sign the petition below to demand that Officer Leighton Pursell is placed on administrative leave until after the investigation and that, if found guilty, he is fired.


Dear Chief Kish,

Complaints have been filed against Officer Leighton Pursell after he allegedly killed a cat he was supposed to help rescue. He was dispatched to help retrieve a family pet that had been reported missing earlier but made little effort to actually rescue the cat. After claiming the cat was injured and aggressive, the officer shot it and placed its corpse in a nearby garbage can.

This behavior was not only shockingly callous toward the cat but was in blatant disregard of the safety and well-being of the public. While it is customary to place an officer on leave after a shooting, Purcell has continued his job without any administrative action. We, the undersigned, demand that you provide justice to the cat and its owner by firing the officer responsible for Sugar’s death.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Christine Westerback

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One Comment

  1. Nature treats back now ? bastard
    Take responsibility for your cruelty
    Live your nightmare now
    Higher Justice works now
    Because I am a Guardian for the animals ?

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