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Franny Syufy

Wal-Mart Cat Shooting Angers Advocates

By January 4, 2005

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Officials of retail industry giant Wal-Mart are reeling from the repercussions over the shooting and killing of a cat by assistant managers of the Evansville, Indiana Wal-Mart store, by orders of the store's general manager, Darrel Weitzel. The cat had been sleeping in a food storage trailer at the rear of the store, and "repeated attempts to coax the cat out of the trailer had failed." The two assistant managers carried out their orders, using a pellet gun obtained from a store cabinet, after Wetzel told them, "Get a gun. Get rid of the cat." The first shots apparently failed to kill the cat, so they returned the next day to finish the job.

Jeffrey Alex Hardin and Christopher Scott Anderson were originally charged with felony animal cruelty, although there is a possibility charges will be dropped. Existing Indiana law refers only to the beating of an animal. The law also offers the caveat that "it is a defense to a prosecution if the person reasonably believes the conduct was necessary to protect the property from destruction or substantial damage," offering an easy out in cases such as this.

A spokesperson for Wal-Mart corporation said earlier that the company is "outraged" by the incident, and that all employees involved would be placed on unpaid suspension. Later, following an internal investigation, four management personnel in the store in question were fired, and a fifth employee has either resigned or been fired. In addition, Wal-Mart has promised a $10,000 donation to be split between two local humane organizations. Had it not been for a delivery person who overheard two employees joking about shooting a cat, and who the next day saw the two men wrapping the cat in shrink-wrap for disposal, the case may never have come to light. This person cared enough to make a difference, and reported what he saw and heard to the authorities, who took prompt action.

More Details:
  • Animal Cruelty Charges For Wal-Mart Managers
  • Formal Charges Not Certain In Alleged Animal Cruelty Case
  • Wal-Mart Employees In Court Tuesday
  • NEWS 25 Talks To Fired Wal-Mart Manager

  • How to Be an Advocate
  • The Cruelty Connection
  • Join the Discussion
  • Comments

    May 8, 2007 at 4:25 pm
    (1) Ted Nugent says:

    Good grief people. It’s a cat.

    May 23, 2007 at 8:06 am
    (2) Black Widow says:

    You seem to feel about cats as I do people like you Ted Nugent ;) I think we need to expand the death penalty for people who are selfish and cold hearted and save INNOCENT animals from people like you.

    June 14, 2007 at 8:28 pm
    (3) manny says:

    If you want a cat, keep it home. Cats kill millions of protected song-birds each year. If a person killed a song-bird they would be prosecuted. So, people who have cats that kill songbirds should be prosecuted. We shouldn’t have to put up with other peoples cats coming into our private yards.

    July 15, 2007 at 9:45 am
    (4) Ward says:

    The cat may have been doing a service to Walmart. Many large stores like Walmart harbor rats and mice. The cat may have been living off the mice and rat population there.

    November 8, 2007 at 9:37 am
    (5) Mamacat says:

    All someone had to do was run a story about the poor homeless cat and someone probably would have adopted it by the end of the day. There was no need for this to have happened. Cats are God’s creation too. It was probably a throw-away just trying to survive.

    August 1, 2008 at 12:42 am
    (6) Fox says:

    /agrees with Ted.

    November 1, 2008 at 8:31 am
    (7) nater762 says:

    Cat lovers are so lame

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