“My 6 y.o. was crying, ‘Mommy, mommy, he shot the kitty’ “

The Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has now called for the firing of a police officer who shot five kittens to death after a mother had simply called Animal Control to remove the five feral animals who were living outside her home.

I’d reported on the shootings last night.

The police officer, reported to be Barry Accorti, has the ironic title “Humane Officer.”  Meaning, apparently, that he responds to calls about animals.

These are the actual 5 kittens the police officer shot (courtesy of KSDK)

These are the actual 5 kittens the police officer shot (courtesy of KSDK)

Accorti found himself in some hot water this week after responding to a call to remove some kittens from a woodpile outside a suburban home.  Accorti told the woman who’d called that the animal shelters were full, and that the kittens would have to be euthanized.  She consented, so Accorti took out his gun and one-by-one shot the 8-to-1o-week-old kittens dead.

He did this in front of the woman who had called in the complaint, and in earshot of her kids, who knew what was going on.

The police officer claims that he just assumed the woman knew he was going to take out his gun and shoot the kittens to death.

Because who wouldn’t assume that?

The woman’s kids immediately started screaming and crying, having just listened to five kittens being shot to death outside their home. “My 6 y.o. was crying, ‘Mommy, mommy, he shot the kitty’,” the mom told the local press.

You can read my earlier story on this matter here.

The mother, understandably, complained to the police about the shooting.  But local police chief, Mike Freeman of the North Ridgeville Police Department, says the cop acted correctly and would not be disciplined – for shooting five kittens to death in a suburban neighborhood in earshot of numerous small children.

The Ohio SPCA has rebutted the police chief’s odd claim that shooting kittens is considered an “acceptable” form of euthanasia by animal organizations.  The SPCA called for Accorti to be charged with five counts of animal cruelty and fired.

A number of our readers asked in the earlier post, what kind of human being shoots kittens?  And should a person like that be a police officer in the first place?  Not to mention, what kind of police department thinks an officer discharging his weapon to take out 5 kittens is something that doesn’t perhaps merit a bit more scrutiny?

They’re some awfully good questions.

Here’s the local coverage of the shooting:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • CY

    Hopefully this asshole has been fired

  • Bellabearsmom

    I cannot believe that someone would be so cruel as to shoot tiny kittens in front of children. Although, I also can’t believe the lady consented to have tiny kittens euthanized at all. I am sure she could’ve found a neighbor that would’ve adopted the kittens or something. Poor little babies! Why don’t people see animals as worth living these days?

  • cole3244

    please, don’t insult the slithering ones lol!

  • Brittanie Sidebottom

    That’s horrible!! I feel sorry for those families and for the kittens!! What a horrible thing to do to a bunch of kittens!! At that age they would barely be walking, let alone be able to run away!!

  • HelenRainier

    The irony is that this man was NOT a police officer but a “Humane Officer.”

  • Nara

    Shooting is a very quick death, so I can understand,as unpleasant as it is. But to discharge a firearm in a suburban area with little children around is just wrong! Where was the OH&S? Why didn’t he take them somewhere away from the family that were obviously trying to do the right thing by them, away to where it would be safer to discharge a firearm, and do it there? Bloody hell.

  • Tammy Toole

    If the homeowner took out a gun and shot the kitties they would have been charged with animal cruelty, WHERE IS @PETA

  • mark_in_toronto

    If the kittens were to be “euthanized”, the technique for how they were killed is not really the issue. But for a police officer to act in this way is a gross reflection of today’s society and culture . . . which is – use your gun anytime, anywhere . . . it fixes all problems. If officer Accorti uses his judgement (and his gun) in this way, then his is NOT fit to be a police officer.

    Those kids will grow up to fear the police . . . or who knows? Actually, I can’t imagine the psychological effect on those kids.

    Imagine watching a movie where a person gets gunned down. Now, imagine it’s an animal. Feel a little different about it?

    There are just some things you don’t do . . . this is one of them.

  • Joey__Blow

    eh.. dead is as dead does.

  • Thom Allen

    The policeman needs to be fired for discharging his weapon inappropriately multiple times. The police chief needs to get the boot as well. This should NEVER have happened under any circumstances.

  • Clecinosu

    This reminds me of something a friend of mine went through. He had a pit bull terrier that was a little aggressive but still very sweet to people he knew, including me. My friend would usually chain him up near a homemade dog house with food and water, but the dog would still bark at strangers. My friend’s neighbor would complain constantly about the dog, and later began to throw objects (sticks, rocks, etc.) at it. Not surprisingly, that didn’t stop the dog from barking — it just barked more when it saw the neighbor.

    Eventually, the neighbor called the county sheriff’s office, who sent a deputy to my friend’s house. The dog didn’t know the deputy, so he began barking. The deputy took out his pistol and “dispatched” (as the deputy called it) the dog. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the deputy filed charges against my friend for owning a dangerous animal.

    When the case came to trial and the evidence was heard, the judge immediately threw the case out, telling the deputy, “You’re lucky this man isn’t suing you.”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Dead enough to qualify for a job as a cop.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I know, when kitties go bad one is compelled by law to murder them.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, cut the head off the snake.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    They do the testing, but the bar is so low that even Son of Sam could join the Academy if he did a tour in Iraq.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The usual thug cop. Perhaps there were no handcuffed women demonstrators to pepper spray, elderly miscreant homeless to body slam, or walking while brown or black to frisk. What’s a Nazi to do on a slow day?

  • LanceThruster

    With all the controversey over the specifics of gun control, here is one person who clearly demonstrates he should not be in possession of a firearm…ever.

  • Naja pallida

    I recall reading an article last year where a police officer was called out to a cat that had been hit by a car, and was suffering, but was still alive. The man who called didn’t know what to do, so the police officer said he’d handle it… and promptly beat the cat to death with his nightstick right in the street. I wish I could say these kind of incidents were rare, but they are not. And all too often the police force just closes ranks and clears the officer of any wrongdoing, and they wait for the outrage to blow over. Which it always does.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    A terrible person, I should think. You’re right: That’s another sick angle, besides the cruelty to animals, the callous indifference to the cruelty of doing this in front of a bunch of kids.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    This is a horrifying story, and frankly, I think that family should sue the police department. What kind of person guns down kittens in front of children?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    There are humane ways to euthanize and inhumane. Humane requires one to take care to minimize pain and fear.

    Shooting five small animals with a gun, one after the other, shows a callous indifference for these considerations. It should be obvious that this officer shouldn’t be in that position and probably not carrying a gun at all.

  • Zorba

    I don’t know about elsewhere, but here, if you call animal control, they generally don’t send a policeman out (unless it appears to be a threatening animal of some kind). For stray dogs and cats, they have humane traps to capture animals alive.
    We once had to ask them for one to capture a stray dog who was chasing and upsetting our beef cattle. I couldn’t get near the dog, myself, because she’d run away from me. The animal guys were very good about bringing out the trap, baiting it with food, and then coming back when I called them that the dog had been trapped. They took her and the trap back with them. Note that they did not send out a “humane officer” (what a misnomer!) to shoot the dog.

  • TheOriginalLiz

    It’s scary to think how many police officers didn’t join the force to “serve & protect”, but to “shoot to kill”, even kittens – talk about total failure of any psychological testing.

  • cole3244

    if this was in the ghetto the outrage would be even more intense, the police dept here needs to be examined for out of control activities because this isn’t the first incident they have done that hasn’t hit the radar screen yet.

  • Sweetie

    North Ridgeville… That explains a lot.

  • emjayay

    Is this sort of thing business as usual anywhere else? Not to be classist and racist or anything, but they were not dealing with fighting pit bulls in a ghetto. It’s a nice new middle class Midwestern subdivision. I thought humane officers were armed to protect themselves if attacked or to possibly dispatch an obviously rabid racoon or something. Meanwhile they have equipment and training to minimize the need for using the firearm. This all seems like stating the obvious. The attitude of the police chief is appalling. It’s got to be just one symptom of a completely out of touch ignorant moron who should indeed be tossed out immediately.

  • BloggerDave

    Sick f*ck…

  • cole3244

    send the police chief packing while you’re at it.

  • milli2

    This cop should be sharing a jail cell with the ones who beat that turtle to death. How dead do you have to be inside to kill a helpless living being?

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