Area animal activists call for charges against man who shot cat and filmed it
Central Texas animal rights advocates want charges filed against a man who took video of himself shooting a cat and shared it on Snapchat.
The video that's been circulating online appears to show a very disturbing case of animal cruelty outside a man's home on FM 56 in Bosque County.
“When I finally got up the nerve to watch it, my stomach dropped," said Meridian resident Darci Gann. "It was just absolutely sickening."
In the video, the man holds his phone and says "We gonna blast that cat right there with this gun right here, ready?" before using a shotgun to hit a black-and-white cat in a tree.
The cat falls to the ground, appearing to be bloody and wounded, then defends itself against a looming large dog as the video cuts out.
Gann, who went to school with the 19-year-old suspect, says she first saw the video on Twitter, then she went to his Snapchat where she copied the 13-second clip and posted it on Facebook.
"I thought giving this some publicity would really help this situation out some more," said Gann.
The video blew up on social media, prompting a quick response from Bosque County deputies who opened an investigation right after they saw the footage Tuesday night.
"My first reaction was 'wow,'" said Clint Pullin, Chief Deputy at the Bosque County Sheriff's Office.
However, there's more to the story, he says.
"Just looking at it you'd think it'd be an offense, so we did it as fast as we could to get this taken care of to try to answer as many questions as we could," said Pullin. "But at this point, I cannot tell you what all was said because it's still a pending case."
Within four hours, they had the man and the cat at the BCSO; the man, who officials say has been fully cooperative, was not charged after he came in to be questioned and brought the body of the deceased animal--which he'd thrown in the trash--to them.
"It appeared that what the guy was doing was going up and just shooting this cat out of a tree, that's what it looked like, but there was other circumstances surrounding that," Pullin told KWTX Wednesday.
Circumstances Pullin said he couldn't elaborate on because the case was still open, but after sharing those circumstances with the District Attorney, they agreed the case should presented to a grand jury to decide if charges should be filed.
"What a sadistic, evil act, and for them not to charge him is beyond me," said Michelle Ann, a local animal rights activist and rescuer. "He was enjoying it, who would film you shooting a cat out of a tree and then film it falling out of the ground alive and then your dog going after it? I don't know a single person like that."
In an attempt to get the shooter's side of the story, KWTX went to his house outside of Clifton; no one appeared to be home, but there were two large dogs barking in the front yard.
Ann says the shooter needs to be punished.
"I hope they do something," said Ann. "I'm not giving up."
Pullin says he understands why people are upset.
"I do understand, I understand when you look at that little version of that (video), it looks like he just 'well, there's a cat in a tree, I'm gonna go get a gun and get it out of there,' but that wasn't the case," said Pullin.
Gann says she understands country life and the sometimes cruel side of it, however, she can't get over the video.
"It was the narration and the filming of it that made me sick," said Gann.
Even if the man isn't criminally charged, Gann hopes the man receives psychological help.
"I understand things happen, you need to get rid of these animals that are stray, feral, sick, what not, but no sane person would video it the way he did."
Unless the cat was a threat, if it was injured or had rabies, Ann says it should have been taken to a veterinarian and authorities should have been notified.
Ann says she's been contacted by PETA about the case.
No one has come forward to claim the cat, Pullin says, so they believe it was feral.
A necropsy was not ordered.