Tag: animal abuse

Why Do Americans Love Shooting Cats?

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people in this country?

American cruelty to cats is even more upsetting within the context of human behavior elsewhere. In Turkey, where it’s practically a national pastime to care for felines, people build shelters for strays, welcome them into their shops with food and affection, and kitties are so trusting of humans that mother cats have on several instances brought their kittens into human hospitals and clinics for help.

Then we have ‘Merica, where apparently it’s a sport for people to sit on their front porches drinking beer and shooting stray cats with pellet guns.

Like, for instance, in Long Island this past weekend, where some stain on the human race shot a ginger tabby named Abraham and left him with a pellet lodged in his spine. Or in northern California, where a couple brought their cat to the vet because they thought he’d been attacked by a coyote, only for x-rays to show the little one had been shot several times by someone with a pellet gun. Or Augusta, South Carolina, where a cat was shot with what appears to be a bullet from a 9mm handgun. Or tiny Brookville, Pa., where a man shot his neighbor’s cat for the unthinkable crime of exploring his porch.

hipster with tattoos stroking cute cats on stony fence
Credit: Dmitriy Ganin/Pexels

I have Google News alerts set up for cat-related stuff to mention here on PITB, and a lot of it is great: Compassionate rescues, feline hi-jinx, heroic cats saving kids.

But those stories are always sandwiched in between articles about people shooting cats. Constantly, incessantly, apparently without a thought about the suffering they’re causing sentient animals who have feelings just like we do and experience pain, anxiety and fear the same as us. That’s not conjecture, contrary to what some people might believe, but objective scientific fact as proven experimentally many times over in recent years.

When Americans aren’t shooting cats they’re stealing them, mutilating them and killing them, like the recent nightmare case out of Tennessee: A woman left her cat in the care of a friend while she was traveling, and the friend allowed the cat to roam outside. Another woman saw the cat wandering, didn’t like what she saw and stole the kitty, eventually giving it away to 19-year-old Deamion Robert Davis via Craigslist. Davis now faces charges of animal cruelty for allegedly binding the cat’s paws and stabbing it to death with a screw driver, according to police. Detectives said they traced the killing to Davis by lifting fingerprints from the tape Davis allegedly used to bind the cat.

So because some busybody saw a pet cat on the street and decided a random, sketchy 19-year-old who responded to a Craigslist ad would provide a better home, a woman’s cat was brutally killed.

Meanwhile hatred for cats continues to be driven by bad science, like this meta-analysis of 202 toxoplasma gondii studies by researchers who need to be reminded that correlation does not imply causation. The research team looked at data on toxoplasma infections recorded in wild animals, then with no evidence whatsoever framed their study around the suggestion that cats “may” be and “probably” are transmitting the parasite to wild animals because the rates of infection are higher in urban areas.

Never mind that humans are much more likely to be infected by eating under-cooked food, certain meats, touching contaminated soil, or using utensils that were used to cut contaminated meat and shellfish. The study ignored that fact and posited — again without evidence — that cats are the primary vector for other animals and humans.

It would be nice if people in the scientific community took responsibility for the fact that their research influences the behavior of others, and blaming cats for everything from bird extinctions to parasite infections drives people to do cruel things like cull cats or poison their food. If they’re going to publish studies drawing a link between cats and extinctions or diseases, scientists have a responsibility to make sure there’s a connection more substantial than “we think, therefore we publish.”

That will conclude this rant on human cruelty to animals.

Why We Need Stronger Animal Protection Laws: Example #233

Take a good look at the mugshot.

That winner-at-life is 21-year-old Mylo Latour, who used a sword to attack a kitten and said the experience was “magic,” according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Latour, who lives in York, Pa — a city of 44,000 in southern Pennsylvania, about 50 miles north of Baltimore — is accused of slashing his sister’s kitten, Mittens.

Latour told the cops he killed the baby cat because “it came into his room and it had power over him,” adding “my eyes dilated and I chopped it with my sword. It was magic.”

Mittens “had injuries consistent with disembowelment,” according to WHTM, a local ABC affiliate. Paperwork from an arrest report reviewed by the TV news station noted “there appeared to be a clean cut to the rear of the cat’s body.”

Latour was charged with cruelty to animals, a second-degree misdemeanor in the Pennsylvania penal code. That’s a charge on par with shoplifting, bigamy or stealing property worth less than $200. If he’s convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of $5,000 and up to a year in jail.

A more severe charge, aggravated cruelty to animals, does exist in the state. It’s defined as torturing an animal or “causing serious bodily injury to the animal or the death of the animal.” It’s not clear why Latour was hit with the lesser charge, and only one of more than a half dozen media reports specifies the charge against him.

We’ll keep an eye on this case and update accordingly.

Woman Arrested In Connection With Attack That Killed Instragram-Famous Cat

A woman involved in a brutal attack that led to the death of a well-known cat — and emergency surgery for one of his owners — faces assault charges after she was identified and arrested, the NYPD said.

Evelyn Serrano, 42, was caught on video tackling and beating Chanan Aksornnan, a 34-year-old woman who had been walking her cat, Ponzu, on a lead in Brooklyn’s McCarren park.

ponzu_serrano2
Evelyn Serrano. Credit: Asian-Dawn.com

Aksornnan suffered minor injuries, her boyfriend suffered a broken nose and had to undergo emergency surgery, and Ponzu lost his life in the chain of events that lead to the beat-down.

Bystanders say the incident began when a 12-year-old boy, who may be related to Serrano, either tripped over or tugged on the lead Aksornnan was using to walk Ponzu. The three-year-old cat was launched in the air and hit the ground hard, losing all his claws. He died of a heart attack shortly after a horrified Aksornnan scooped him up in her arms.

Serrano and her alleged accomplices showed “no remorse,” Aksornnan told Brooklyn news site Greenpointers, and acted as if Aksornnan was being unreasonable by being upset about the cat.

“That’s what you get for walking your —ing cat, b—,” a woman with Serrano said.

When Aksornnan referred to Ponzu as her “child,” the women mocked her,  yelling “That’s why you got no kids.”

Video shows Serrano — who at 5’7″ and 200 pounds is considerably larger than Aksornnan — launch herself at the grieving victim and tackle her to the ground.

Two other women with Serrano joined in, kicking and punching the victim while Serrano had her pinned down, video shows.

One of those women, identified as Julie Yvette Rodriguez, mean-mugs a bystander who was recording the incident, yelling “B–, I’ll f– you up” toward the end of the video.

Screenshot_2021-04-26 Asian Netizens Have Methodically Identified Those Responsible for Ponzu’s Death - Asian Dawn
Julie Yvette Rodriguez. Credit: Facebook via Asian-Dawn.com

After the incident, Rodriguez allegedly left anti-Asian comments and pictures on Aksornnan’s post about the death of her cat.

“English please ching ching,” she allegedly wrote, according to a screenshot shared on Twitter, before following it up with a meme of a stereotypical Asian man.

Screenshot_2021-04-26 Jowin Marie Batoon 🇵🇭 on Twitter
Credit: Instagram via twitter/Jowin Marie Batoon

The worst take on the incident goes to Jezebel’s Megan Reynolds, who imagined a bizarre economic disparity justification for the attack, noting the “park is full of picnicking gentrifiers.” Serrano and her cohort, Reynolds wrote, were seemingly incensed “about the fact that [Ponzu] was a cat on a leash, walking as if he owned the place.”

“Ponzu was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and something about the temerity of walking an Instagram-influencer cat on a leash was a larger symbol of economic disparity,” Reynolds wrote.

While she does acknowledge that she “can’t imagine a circumstance where I’d be so upset about it that I’d provoke an attack,” she alternately proposes the attack could have been prompted by “collective pandemic fatigue, shared by all of us in different ways, that manifested in violence and ended in tragedy.”

While the incident brought out a lot of ugliness, it also brought at least three communities together to console the victims and seek justice — neighbors and friends of the victim, the Asian-American community in Brooklyn, and local restaurant owners.

Aksornnan, who owns a Brooklyn restaurant called Baoburg and is known locally as Chef Bao Bao, received an outpouring of support from customers, neighbors and fellow restaurant owners. Owners of nearby Chinese and Japanese restaurants lent their support, and donors raised more than $65,000.

The money will be used for “the legal fight that is ahead of us,” according to the GoFundMe, as well as a legislative push for more severe animal abuse laws. In New York, pets are considered property and harming an animal results in — at most — a misdemeanor under the state’s Agriculture and Markets law.

Vet’s Lawyer: He Wasn’t Abusing A Cat, He Was ‘Appearing To Abuse A Cat’

The Alabama veterinarian accused of brutalizing a cat he was supposed to be treating pleaded not guilty to criminal charges at his first court hearing on Tuesday, but his legal woes are far from over.

In addition to the two charges of animal cruelty lodged against him by the Ozark Police Department, an ongoing criminal probe and an investigation by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medicine, veterinarian Richard Timothy Logan now faces a lawsuit from the abused cat’s owners, Richard and Christina Miller.

The 65-year-old veterinarian, who has been practicing animal medicine since 1982, drew the ire of animal rights activists and cat lovers across the country this week after a new video showed a man identified as Logan punching, choking and dropping a cat he was supposed to be treating at the Andrews Avenue Animal Hospital in Ozark, Alabama.

The video shows two separate incidents that happened after the Millers brought their 21-year-old cat, Mimi, in for routine tests and shots in November of 2020.

“(Dr. Logan) is dangling the cat like a hangman’s noose in one video,” said Will Matthews, the Millers’ attorney. “In the other video, he punches the cat as hard as he can punch right in the cat’s mouth.”

Richard Timothy Logan mugshot

The videos, which were combined into one clip, were uploaded by Carrie Pritt, a former employee at the animal hospital.

WTVY, a local news station in Alabama, inexplicably seemed to blame Pritt for the ensuing outrage, saying she “hatched her plan to record Logan after discussing concerns about [him] with friends for several months.”

Hatched her plan? She recorded the vicious abuse of a cat because she was horrified by what she saw. The fact that she was prepared to record the incident strongly suggests it wasn’t the first of its kind.

The natural question is: What had Logan allegedly done in the past that would prompt Pritt to record him? WTVY didn’t ask that question. Instead, at the behest of Logan’s attorney, David Harrison, the station aired a story saying Pritt had taken her own dog in to be treated by Logan months after the November incident with Mimi the cat.

Here’s the bush league lede from the web version of WTVY’s story:

Though her secret recording led to the arrest of an Ozark veterinarian, a woman apparently trusted that vet enough that she later allowed him to treat her dog. However, her attorney said her dog did not receive treatment, though she went to the clinic.

Matthews, who also represents Pritt, said the former employee stopped by the animal hospital to pick up paperwork and was there less than 10 minutes. Her dog was not treated there, he said.

But the TV station ignored that in favor of a headline saying Pritt “trusted [Logan] with her dog.”

Several WTVY stories about the incident also include variations of this line: “Videos posted Facebook on or about April 5 by a former clinic employee shows the incidents, though it is not clear if other circumstances contributed.” [Emphasis ours.]

It’s not clear if other circumstances contributed? Can anyone at WTVY give us a single reason why a veterinarian — a man whose job is to treat animals — would punch, slap, drop and choke a cat in his care?

If the man has been in practice since 1982, as his attorney says, then after four decades as a veterinarian, shouldn’t he know how to restrain a scared cat? That’s a basic, essential part of the job, as is basic compassion for scared and suffering animals.

It turns out the TV station was simply parroting Logan’s attorney, who told the station that the video “shows Logan appearing to abuse a cat, though contributing circumstances, if any, are not known.”

Translation from absurd lawyerspeak: Harrison says Logan wasn’t abusing Mimi, he was just “appearing to abuse a cat,” and besides, the cat must have done something to deserve it.

We’re sure that’s very reassuring to Logan’s clients: “Sorry, we had to beat the everliving crap out of your dog because he didn’t like being on the exam table, you know how it is. That’ll be $250 for the examination and another $125 for the blood work.”

Veterinarians take an oath to relieve animal suffering and to protect animal health and welfare. Allegedly abusing a terrified, screaming cat is nowhere in the job description.

If this nasty mess doesn’t prompt you to take a shower, Logan’s attorney garnishes it with the rotten cherry on top by invoking America’s war dead in an outlandish claim that uploading and sharing the video is unlawful. Harrison — who has already said he’s instructed his client to sue everyone who’s posted the video online — doesn’t seem to understand the difference between due process in court and the public’s right to know a veterinarian in their community is allegedly abusing animals.

“1.5 million Americans have died on foreign soil for us to have the right to be innocent until proven guilty,” Harrison told WTVY.

Cops: Vid Shows Alabama Vet Brutally Abusing Cat

UPDATE: Veterinarian Richard Timothy Logan has pleaded not guilty and the cat’s owners have filed a civil lawsuit against him. Read more here: Vet’s Lawyer: He Wasn’t Abusing A Cat, He Was ‘Appearing To Abuse A Cat’


A longtime veterinarian in Alabama has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty for hitting, choking and dropping a terrified cat in his exam room, according to police.

Richard Timothy Logan, 65, is a veterinarian at Andrews Avenue Animal Hospital in Ozark, Alabama.

A man identified as Logan was examining a calico cat in November, in an exam room at the animal hospital when he grabbed the cat by the scruff of her neck and punched her on the top of her head with a closed fist, video of the exam shows. Still holding the cat by her scruff, he slammed her down onto the exam table, then did it again more forcefully.

Logan then swiped the cat off the exam table, causing her to fall to the floor.

Logan steps out of the frame for several seconds, then the video cuts forward, showing Logan again with his hands on the cat as a veterinary assistant holds the terrified, screaming feline down.

He punches the cat a second time, makes an annoyed gesture, then picks the cat up by her collar and dangles her as she struggles.

Animal rights activists and local people outraged by the video protested outside Andrews Avenue Animal Hospital this week, holding signs of the abused calico and demanding the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medicine — which is conducting its own investigation separate from the criminal probe — revoke Logan’s license.

“We’re hoping for awareness, first of all, of animal abuse and we’re hoping that Dr. Logan will lose his license,” cat owner Rhonda Eller told Alabama’s Dothan Eagle. “There should not be veterinarians that don’t love animals and care for animals. Obviously, they should choose a different profession.”

Some of the protesters were clients of the animal hospital, and were alarmed not only by what they saw on the video — which was anonymously posted to Facebook on April 5 — but what may have happened behind closed doors when they brought their own pets in.

“I’ve been coming here so long, leaving my animals overnight [or] for a week when he said they needed it,” Michele Brown, a client of the hospital, told the Eagle. “What has happened to my animals while they were here and I never knew it?”

Neither Logan nor the animal hospital have issued public statements on the allegations, but Logan’s attorney, David Harrison, is acting as if the video does not show his client terrorizing a cat who was supposed to be in his care.

“He is a good veterinarian and people are destroying this man’s reputation,” Harrison told WTVY, an Alabama local news station. “I have instructed Dr. Logan to file a lawsuit against all who have smeared lies on social media. Facebook is not a court of law.”

Animal abuse protesters
Protesters stand across from Andrews Avenue Animal Hospital in Ozark, Alabama, this week.

Logan was charged with two counts of cruelty to animals.

Under Alabama law, if Logan is convicted, the most severe potential sentence is a $3,000 fine and up to one year in county jail. Because he doesn’t have priors, if he’s convicted he’s not likely to serve any jail time. Animal cruelty is a misdemeanor in Alabama’s penal code.

In the meantime, comments from Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams do not sound promising.

“While this video is deeply concerning, I would like to take this opportunity to implore people to have this same concern over child victim crimes and gun violence,” Adams said, appearing to downplay the severity of the allegations against Logan.

The cat “is alive and doing better with its owner,” Ozark police wrote in a statement posted to Facebook. Cops say they’ve interviewed the owner as well as “other witnesses.” It’s not clear if those witnesses include the veterinary tech who was present or other employees at the animal hospital, nor did police say who filmed the abuse.

Top photo: Richard Timothy Logan mugshot courtesy Ozark Police Department

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