Acting Solely Upon the Lies of a Cat-Hater, Raymore Police Pump Two Shotgun Blasts into the Head of Nineteen-Year-Old Declawed and Deaf Tobey
"He was our family member. He was the sweetest animal (and he) was always there to be your friend. He didn't know a stranger."
-- Kelly Wesner
Like a broken record that keeps repeating itself, another domestic cat has been murdered by bloodthirsty cops acting upon the blatant lies supplied to them by an ailurophobe. This time the totally innocent victim was a nineteen-year-old tomcat named Tobey that belonged to Kelly Wesner of Raymore, Missouri, thirty-five kilometers outside of Kansas City. (See photo above.)
On Labor Day, Tobey went out for a stroll that eventually led him to an unidentified neighbor's garage or thereabouts and that was all it took for the cat-hater to go berserk. The neighbor's first act of animal cruelty was to turn a garden hose on Tobey. Not content with that bit of devilry, the cat-hater next telephoned the police to report that a large, vicious feral cat with rabies had scratched a young girl.
The Keystone Cops from Raymore arrived promptly on the scene and employed a catch pole in order to corral Tobey. They next took him into a field and pumped two shotgun blasts into his tiny and unsuspecting head at point-blank range. They then calmly stuffed his bloody corpse in a plastic grocery bag and nonchalantly deposited it in a nearby Dumpster.
While all of this was occurring, Wesner had been out desperately scouring the neighborhood for her cat. At some point in time she belatedly learned what had transpired and was at least able to retrieve what remained of Tobey from the Dumpster.
At no time during this deliberate and totally uncalled for coldblooded murder did the cops conduct anything remotely resembling an independent investigation. Instead, they merely took the cat-hater's lies as gospel and then appointed themselves as judge, jury, and executioners.
If they had exercised an ounce of intelligence, they would have observed that Tobey was declawed and therefore incapable of scratching anyone. In the cover-up that has ensued, the police are still ridiculously maintaining that Tobey had his nonexistent claws extended!
Secondly, since it is normal procedure for police and Animal Control officers to hold on to the corpses of rabid animals so that necropsies can be performed on them, the Raymore Police have yet to explain why they got rid of Tobey's corpse so quickly. The conclusion is therefore inescapable: either the police did not believe that Tobey had rabies or they were derelict in their duty to protect the community against a possible outbreak of the disease.
There are other inconsistencies in the cops' rather tall tale as well. Far from being a large cat, Tobey suffered from Hyperthyroidism and as a result his weight had plummeted to a measly six pounds.
Wesner additionally categorically rejects the cops' assertion that Tobey was vicious. "He was our family member," she tearfully told KSHB-TV of Kansas City in a video dated September 13th. (See "Family Upset that Police Shoot, Kill Family Pet.") "He was the sweetest animal (and he) was always there to be your friend. He didn't know a stranger." (See photo below of her and daughter Hayley Schmuck holding up a picture of Tobey.)
To make matters worse, the poor cat was deaf and unable to hear the ailurophobe shouting at him to get lost. More importantly, no one except an inveterate hater of the species could ever conceivably view a six-pound, deaf, declawed, and elderly cat as being a threat to a mouse, much let alone an adult or a child.
Nevertheless, the police insist that it took three officers to get the scratching and clawing cat into a box. "But we know that isn't true," Wesner added.
The police also are relying upon the totally spurious argument that they were justified in murdering Tobey because he was not wearing a collar. They are doubtless aware that collars and tattoos are passe and that implanted microchips, for better or worse, are rapidly emerging as the preferred mode of identification amongst cat owners. Even so, the cops did not even bother to have Tobey scanned.
"We do not know what they were thinking," Wesner told The Kansas City Star on September 10th. (See "Raymore Police Mistakenly Kill Family Cat.")
In a memo sent to the mayor and City Council, City Manager Eric Berlin provided two possible answers to Wesner's question. Instead of blaming those responsible, Berlin instead attempted to excuse Tobey's murder on the grounds that he was killed on a holiday and that he was wet.
Based upon such a jaundiced view of reality, it thus appears that all cats in Raymore may be shot on sight if either they are wet or it is a holiday. Perhaps just as disturbing, there is no way of knowing exactly how many other cats Raymore Police have disposed of in this cavalier fashion over the years.
To his credit, acting Police Chief Roger Mayberry has pledged to look into the matter of requiring an Animal Control officer to be on call twenty-four hours a day as opposed to 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, which is currently the case. He additionally has stated that in the future strays will be taken to shelters and clinics and dead animals to Wayside Waifs in Kansas City.
The wording is a bit ambiguous but hopefully that means his officers must refrain from killing cats under all circumstances. After all, the police in Raymore already have demonstrated that they have absolutely no business whatsoever making life and death decisions where cats are concerned.
As horrific as it is, Tobey's coldblooded murder by the Raymore Police is far from being an isolated incident. Au contraire, tens of thousands of cats are similarly disposed of each year by police and Animal Control officers.
Par exemple, on March 22nd of last year, Roger Oldaker's ten-year-old Persian, Elmo, was similarly executed by a police officer in Cecil, Pennsylvania, who was acting upon the unsubstantiated lies of another cat-hater. (See photo below on the right.)
"He just didn't know where to run," Oldaker said at that time. "Another cat ran away, and the policeman said if my cat would have run, he would have let him go." (See Cat Defender post of March 31, 2008 entitled "Cecil, Pennsylvania Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Olds Persian, Elmo.")
That was only because the officer was too lazy to have chased him. Besides, the killer was a twenty-five-year veteran of the force who surely must have known that it is extremely rare to come across a purebred that is either a stray or a feral.
Persians are expensive, high-maintenance cats and accordingly any that are found roaming the streets are most likely to be lost pets. Even if against all odds one of them should turn out to be actually homeless, it is easy to find a new caretaker for it.
Trigger-happy, cat-hating cops are far from being the only licensed killers that cat owners have to fear. For example, pest control companies, such as ABC Lawn and Pest of Houston, and even the RSPCA illegally trap and kill their share of cats each year. (See Cat Defender posts of August 30, 2007 and June 5, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Texas Couple Files Lawsuit Against Pest Control Company for Trapping and Gassing Their Cat, Butty," and "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated.")
In addition to the outrageous crimes perpetuated against cats by police and Animal Control officers, pest control companies, and so-called humane organizations, private individuals, usually bird advocates, have become quite adept at using these organizations in order to do their dirty work for them. Consequently, it is imperative that they also be held criminally liable for their actions. (See Cat Defender posts of June 15, 2006, March 9, 2007, and October 30, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Serial Cat Killer on Long Island Traps Neighbors' Cats and Then Gives Them to Shelter to Exterminate," "Long Island Serial Cat Killer Guilty of Only Disorderly Conduct, Corrupt Court Rules," and "Collar Saves a Cat Named Turbo from Extermination After He Is Illegally Trapped by Bird-Loving Psychopaths.")
The same holds true for cat-haters who illegally trap and dump cats in remote areas. (See Cat Defender posts of October 30, 2007, November 16, 2007, and December 24, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Crafty Bird Lover Claims Responsibility for Stealing Six Cats from a Southampton Neighborhood and Concealing Their Whereabouts," "Fletcher, One of the Cats Abducted from Bramley Crescent, Is Killed by a Motorist in Corhampton," and "Prominent New Zealand Physician Who Ludicrously Claims to Be an Ailurophile Gets Away with Stealing and Dumping His Neighbor's Cat.")
All of these cases reveal the pervasiveness of ailurophobia and the extraordinary lengths that both public and private individuals are prepared to go in order to harm cats. The coldblooded murders of Tobey and Elmo are especially revolting in that they reveal the utter contempt that some members of the law enforcement community have for feline life.
The Humane Society of Missouri, which back in July successfully busted a six-state dog fighting ring, has launched its own independent investigation into Tobey's murder but cat-lovers should not hold their breaths. The onus therefore falls by default to Wesner who must now take it upon herself to ensure that the Raymore Police and the unidentified neighbor are held liable in a court of law for their criminal conduct. It is imperative that she undertake this herculean task not only to ensure that Tobey's murder is avenged, but in order to put a stop to these types of illegal killings as well.
Looking at the big picture, discrimination against cats based solely upon either their presumed or de facto socio-economic status should be immediately outlawed. The life of a stray or a feral cat is no less precious to it than that of its domiciled cousin.
Furthermore, anyone who claims to be able to differentiate with any measurable degree of accuracy between feral, stray, and domestic cats by appearance is a liar. Even the so-called temperament tests that animal shelters and Animal Control officers administer as a way of determining which ones they are going to kill is a fraud.
Any cat that is locked up in a cage and who has ballpoint pens and other objects thrust at it is going to respond aggressively. Individuals that are arrested by cops and carted off to the clink most often respond aggressively also but no one labels them as ferals as a prelude to killing them. (See Cat Defender post of September 14, 2006 entitled "Cat Killing Season Is in Full Swing All Across America as Shelters Ramp Up Their Mass Extermination Pogroms.")
For Wesner and her family the shock and grief of losing Tobey in such a barbaric and illegal fashion must be nearly unbearable. After all, they had cared for him and shared their lives with him ever since he showed up unannounced on their front porch way back in 1991. From all accounts, he had eighteen wonderful years with the Wesners and possibly could have lived another ten.
The bottom line is that it takes a pair of morally bankrupt monsters to kill a nineteen-year-old, emaciated, deaf, and declawed cat based solely upon hearsay. It therefore is imperative that the officer who fired the fatal shots into Tobey's brain and his supervisor, who ordered the murder, be fired from their jobs and made to stand trial for murder. Hopefully, they then will be convicted and confined to some hellhole prison for the remainder of their miserable lives.
The city of Raymore and the cat-hater who sicced the cops on Tobey in the first place also must be held liable in a civil court. No one, cop, politician, or private individual, is above the law.
Photos: Kelly Wesner (Tobey), Allison Long of The Kansas City Star (Wesner and Schmuck), and Roger Oldaker (Elmo).