CAT KILLED: Family Claims Neighbor Shot Pet
A Mitchellville family claims a neighbor shot and killed a pet cat last week. Tonight, police are investigating. The family wants criminal charges, but the neighbors say it was an unintended accident.
“That`s what it sounded like, a firecracker. I knew that a shot had been fired,” says Trisha Richey.
She was in her backyard Friday morning and saw her neighbor on his back deck with some kind of pellet gun. Moments later, Richey found her family`s four year old cat, Captain Hook, had been hit. She rushed him to the vet.
“He was in a lot of distress and there was nothing that could be done for him,” says Richey.
According to her, the neighbor never complained about the cat.
“It`s just heartbreaking. My 11-year-old son, that was his cat. Slept with him every night,” she says.
Angie Rheuport didn`t want to go on camera, but agreed to talk to us about what happened. She said her husband didn`t mean to shoot the cat. He was just trying to scare him away.
“I feel horrible and so does he. We didn`t mean to do it, but it happened and we`re sorry,” says Rheuport.
Tom Colvin with the Animal Rescue League says it`s a crime to shoot people`s pets. He also says firing a warning shot is never a good idea.
“It can`t be a matter of just aiming a firearm at any pet and expecting it`s always going to result in just frightening the pet. You`re going to injure or mortally that animal,” says Colvin.
“He won`t do it again. He`s learned his lesson,” says Rheuport.
But it cost this family their pet.
“I couldn`t imagine being on his end and thinking it was OK,” says Richey.
Mitchellville Police Chief Joe Crook says he is working with the county attorney to determine whether to file animal cruelty or firearm charges.