On Monday in Ohio, animal control Officer Barry Accorti shot and killed a litter of kittens in front of freaked-out children nearby. “He informed [a witness] that shelters were full and that these cats would be going to kitty heaven,” Ohio SPCA Executive Director Teresa Landon told the Sun News.
Landon said the home owner, who had called for help, assumed the officer “would be trapping them or something and taking them to a shelter and they would be humanely euthanized if they were not adopted.”
“Instead, he went to his truck and got a gun, which she thought was a tranquilizer gun, and walked around to the back of the house and approximately 15 feet from her back door shot and killed the 8- to 10-week-old kittens.”
The stunned observer alerted the Ohio SPCA to the officer’s actions, and the animal rights group responded with a Facebook campaign to “expose” the behavior and call for accountability.
“Her children were upstairs in view of the windows. They started screaming and crying because they heard the gunshots. They started screaming, ‘Mommy, he’s killing the kittens,’” Landon said, “It’s heartbreaking… There is no excuse for it. It’s absolutely shameful that someone with the title of humane officer would do this.”
North Ridgeville Police Department Chief Mike Freeman released a statementdefending Accorti, who the Ohio SPCA has demanded be fired and charged with animal abuse.
“The cats were located within the wood pile and euthanized,” Freeman said, “The cats were removed from the wood pile and taken from the residence.”
He decided Accorti’s “actions were appropriate,” and will not “impose any disciplinary measures for the incident.”
This post has been updated for clarity regarding the Ohio SPCA’s role in the incident.