To continue my letter from last week, I have learned that the cat that was shot TWICE by Newark Police Officer, Jon Purtee, had a home. He had an owner who loved him and he had a name. His name was Ralphie! Ralphie was in his own front yard when Officer Purtee fired those two shots to kill him.
Newark is no different than many other communities in that it has its share of people who abandon animals – primarily cats. Ralphie was previously a victim of an irresponsible owner who left him on the streets to fend for himself. But, Ralphie won the hearts of two very special people who took him in and cared for him and loved him.
Several police cruisers and an ambulance had responded to an unrelated call on the street where Ralphie lived. The commotion had awakened the owner who was looking out the window to see what was going on. Sadly, the owner saw Officer Purtee’s first bullet hit Ralphie. No knock on the door to see if the cat in the yard belonged to the resident. Just BOOM… BOOM!
Officer Purtee allegedly showed no remorse nor compassion for what he had done to someone’s pet even though an obviously distraught owner was viewing their dead pet. If Officer Purtee had simply knocked on the door to see if the “injured” cat in the yard belonged to the owner of the home, this would have all been avoided and would have been a much wiser decision than firing a gun on a residential street in the middle of the night!
Having NO compassion is cruel and is expected from criminals. But to have SOME compassion is DEMANDED by the public from law enforcement officers and should be a requisite to be hired as a public servant who carries a “duty weapon!” If not for the cat, have some compassion for the owner!
On numerous occasions I have heard many people use the phrase “it’s just a cat!” But it’s not just a cat…it’s something that someone loves and is living and breathing and has the right to be treated with compassion! It’s also not “just a cat” according to Ohio law! A cat is defined in the Ohio Revised Code as a “companion animal” (ORC 959.131 “Companion animal” means any animal that is kept inside a residential dwelling and any dog or cat regardless of where it is kept) and there are laws that make it a crime to be inhumane to companion animals!
So, please remember, the law says CATS ARE COMPANION ANIMALS and are to be treated humanely! Law enforcement officers expect people to abide by the law and we, the people, DEMAND the same of them!