Denounce Lax Punishment for Officer Who Shot Lost Cat

Target: John Morganelli, Northampton County District Attorney

Goal: Criticize the slap on the wrist given to an officer found to have wrongfully killed a family’s pet.

A police officer who shot a lost cat has been handed down a slap on the wrist despite massive public outcry. North Catasauqua Police Officer Leighton Pursell was responding to a call about a missing cat when he came upon Sugar, a scared orange tabby hiding in a bush. The cat, according to a neighbor, hissed at Pursell when he prodded it with a stick, causing the officer to execute the cat.

According to witnesses, the police were called to help retrieve the cat. Only a few minutes after arriving, and after making little effort to actually help the cat, the responding officer declared that the cat was injured and had to be euthanized. He then shot the cat on the spot and threw its corpse in a nearby garbage can.

Despite massive public outcry from the local community as well as online activists, the officer was not even suspended pending investigation, as is often the case when an officer discharges a firearm. Purcell recently received a citation for animal cruelty as the prosecutor determined the killing was unwarranted. Unfortunately, this citation comes with a punishment equivalent to that of a parking ticket.

This shooting not only ripped a pet away from its loving family, but shocked the whole community of North Catasauqua. This citation is not a just punishment, particularly since it was determined that the officer acted wrongfully in the shooting. Sign the petition below to denounce the prosecution for letting this cruel officer off with a slap on the wrist.


Dear Mr. Morganelli,

A police officer who shot an innocent lost cat was recently let off with a slap on the wrist. Officer Leighton Purcell was supposed to help retrieve a lost cat, but instead shot it and tossed its corpse into a garbage can. He was cited for animal cruelty after it was determined that the shooting was unwarranted.

This citation, punishable by a fine of $500, is a slap on the wrist in comparison to the gravity of the officer’s negligence. His actions not only resulted in the tragic death of a family pet, but shocked the North Catasauqua community. We, the undersigned, denounce this lax punishment, which sends the message that barbaric shootings like these are acceptable.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: viccaaaa

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  1. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared ?

  2. Someone so cruel and uncaring should’t be carrying a gun.
    Disgusting, sack him.

  3. Yet another sociopath with a badge and a gun…It appears to be an actual requirement for the position…ugh!

  4. Anne GRice says:

    This Officer is unfit for this job and has demonstrated this clearly . A community little cat and they couldn’t deal with it without using a bloody weapon. This is a symbol of what is wrong in this country ! This a dangerous person and no one in the community could feel safe with this Officer! He is UNSUITABLE FOR THIS JOB. FIRE THEM!

  5. Stacy Tabler says:

    What kind of lowlife scum does North Catasauqua hire? If this “man” can’t handle a domestic house cat then how can he be trusted to interact with humans, while carrying a firearm? Maybe police officers should be paid a little more than minimum wage and you would get a more intelligent, less trigger-happy employee. Leighton Purcell should not be an animal control officer, much less a police officer!

  6. Bet he got “paid” leave. There is no justice, why can’t government do its job, disgusting.

  7. Karen Remnant says:

    Another sorry excuse of a police officer! One more gun happy moron. Slap on the wrist? He needs a kick in the balls, if they can be found!

  8. Laurie Miskell says:

    Another case of a cop getting away with murder.

  9. Mark Turner says:

    Obviously this so called officer of the law and his superiors think animals don’t matter, we’ll they matter more than these sick people disgusting and disgraceful, don’t deserve the air they breath.

  10. The cat’s family should file charges and/or make a BIG DEAL about their loss — We need to be rational, level-headed & compassionate — It’s clear this Officer Purcell has no respect NOR love for animals — [to think that he was called to help “rescue” the cat] — Officers, who are held to a higher standard, MUST respect & care about animals — moreover — training for all Officers must be obligatory! — whether you “like” animals or not, is not to be an issue — animals, all living beings, deserve respect, care & protections — Officer Purcell MUST be held accountable — we do NOT want repeats of abuse to NOR murders of animals.

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