"We love our cats. Do you know what it was like to pull your pet out of the garbage can and then pull him out of the garbage bag and his head is bloody with a bullet hole in it? It's so violent that they did this to our animal and made no effort to call the humane society or find his owners."
-- Dori Stone
Tiny Lebanon, Ohio, located thirty-seven kilometers outside of Cincinnati, is a thoroughly barbaric town that should be avoided at all costs by cats and all individuals who care about them. It is so backward and inhumane that its police officers are allowed to murder residents' cats with the full blessings of both the entire political establishment as well as local humane groups.
That was the shocking and tragic lesson brutally foisted upon Dori Stone after an unidentified officer of the Lebanon Police Department murdered her beloved cat, Haze, in cold blood with a gunshot to the head on August 20th. (See photo of him above.)
The sickening and infuriating chain of events that culminated in Haze's murder began to unfold on Friday, August 19th when he disappeared from Stone's residence on East Silver Street. At a little before 1 p.m. on the following day a man identified only as Vernon who was either visiting or staying with Stone's neighbor, Betty Hayslip, in the 400 block of nearby Mulberry Street telephoned the police in order to complain about what he maliciously labeled as a stray cat with rabies.
Always willing to oblige whenever there is any killing to be done, especially if the intended victim is a cat, the unidentified officer arrived on the scene and without so much as a moment's hesitation promptly shot Haze in the head. Vernon then stuffed the cat in a garbage bag and deposited his corpse in a trash can. Quite obviously, neither he nor the officer have any more regard for the sanctity of feline life than they do for either leftover food or old, moth-eaten clothes.
For whatever it is worth, the officer later claimed that the cat was panting and failed to acknowledge his presence. From that spurious bit of inexpert and uncorroborated evidence he concluded that the so-called stray was suffering and in distress and therefore could not be permitted under any circumstances to go on living for another minute.
All of the available information point to the inescapable conclusion that the officer's assessment of the situation was pure baloney. According to the Weather Channel, the temperature outside that day was 85° Fahrenheit with more than likely a comparable humidity level and based upon that Haze likely was suffering from heat exhaustion which is characterized by a shortness of breath and listlessness. Moreover, the fact that he weighed twenty pounds no doubt put added stress on his tiny cardiovascular system.
Compounding matters further, he likely was accustomed to spending the majority of his time in an air conditioned environment where he readily had access to food and water. Since he had been missing for perhaps as long as eighteen hours, he may not have had access to water during that period and could have been suffering from dehydration as well as heat exhaustion.
Under such circumstances, Haze needed water, food, and an air conditioned environment, not a bullet in the head. All sick cats are entitled to competent veterinary care and anyone unable to tell the difference between heat exhaustion and rabies certainly does not have any business wearing a badge and carrying a gun.
Admittedly, cats suffering from heat exhaustion and rabies both exhibit labored breathing and protruding tongues but the similarities end there. Rabid cats tend to be loud and violent as well as prone to seizures.
Although rabies may be fairly common in certain species of wildlife, it is exceedingly rare in homeless cats and almost unheard of in domesticated ones. Plus, it is likely that Haze previously had been vaccinated against the disease.
Furthermore, there is a good chance that Haze would have been just fine even without veterinary intervention if he had been permitted to have gotten out of the sun and rested until nightfall. He then could have made his way home, which was only four-hundred-seven feet away, safe and sound.
That scenario additionally would explain his failure to return home Friday night. Sometime either overnight or during the early morning hours the heat and humidity may have gotten to him and he wound up stranded, as bad luck would have it, in the yard of an inveterate cat-hater.
As far as Haze's failure to respond to the officer's presence is concerned, that can be explained not only by the heat but his domesticity. Police officers are not nearly as thickheaded as they pretend to be and Haze's lack of fear of him was a clear indication that he was neither a feral nor a stray.
More mundanely, common sense alone would have dictated to any halfway humane individual that since Haze was discovered in a residential neighborhood that he belonged to one of the occupants. The condition of his fur, his overall appearance and demeanor plus, above all, his obesity shouted out the unmistakable conclusion that he had been neutered and was being fed way too much food by a doting owner. As any fool knows only too well, homeless cats that are forced to scrounge around for their next meal do not become obese.
The lawman also makes much ado about Haze not having on a collar. In addition to the difficulty of getting some cats to wear regular buckle-up collars, breakaway Halsbande
are specifically designed to come off once they become snagged on an object, and elastic ones are potential death traps. (See Cat Defender posts of May 28, 2008 and June 22, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Collars Turn into Death Traps for Trooper and Que but Both Are Rescued at the Eleventh Hour" and "Hobson Is Forced to Wander Around Yorkshire for Months Trapped in an Elastic Collar That Steadily Was Eating Away at His Shoulder and Leg.")
Linda Lord of Ohio State University and her co-authors discount those concerns by arguing that the benefits of collars clearly outweigh the dangers. They further argue that most cats will gradually accept collars if their owners are persistent. (See "Evaluation of Collars and Microchips for Visual and Permanent Identification of Pet Cats," Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, August 15, 2010, volume 237, number 4, pages 387-394 and Pet Peoples Place, September 15, 2010, "Study Shows Most Cats Will Tolerate Wearing a Collar.")
The argument over the merits and demerits of collars and tattoos is largely superfluous owing to the growing popularity of implanted microchips as the preferred method of identifying cats and dogs. That is in spite of the fact that microchips have been linked to cancer and offer absolutely no protection whatsoever against cat-hating policemen who are prone to taking the law into their own hands. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2007 and November 6, 2010 entitled, respectively, "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs" and "Bulkin Contracts Cancer from an Implanted Microchip and Now It Is Time for Digital Angel and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law.")
Haze's murderer sans doute
is acutely aware of this change in pet identification methods as well as everyone else in the civilized world and for him to base his defense on the absence of a collar is just one more of his big, fat lies. It is even doubtful that anyone as bloodthirsty as him would have spared Haze's life even if he had been tethered to one of Goodyear's blimps that announced to the world his name and address in big, block letters.
Whenever cops are not doing either the dirty work of the capitalists and bourgeoisie or lining their pockets in nefarious ways, they amuse themselves by killing defenseless animals and crapping on the poor and downtrodden. It thus is ludicrous to expect any positive behavior out of them and the best that can be hoped for is that they will content themselves with taking bribes, goldbricking, and lapping up the perks that come with their office and accordingly mind their own business.
Anatole France certainly was well acquainted with the codification of injustice. "La majestueuse égalité des lois interdit aux riches comme aux pauvres de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans la rue et de voler du pain," he once wrote.
Even more compelling than all of the foregoing is the fact that no police officer or humane official ever should place a scintilla of credence in the unfounded allegations of cat-haters. The mislabeling of cats as ferals and strays, vicious, and as being eaten up with rabies and other deadly diseases are common ruses that enemies of the species frequently employ in order to justify having them killed.
To make a long story short, the officer's story is a tissue of lies from beginning to end. Both he and Vernon therefore should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and, if convicted, deserve nothing less than jabs of sodium pentobarbital at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.
After searching in vain two days for Haze, Stone finally was told by the police on Sunday, August 21st that they had liquidated her cat and that she could find his remains in Hayslip's trash can. Dutifully, she went and did what was necessary but the memory of what she found has become a nightmare that is destined to haunt her dreams for as long as she lives.
"We love our cats. Do you know what it was like to pull your pet out of the garbage can and then pull him out of the garbage bag and his head is bloody with a bullet hole in it?" she confided to The Western Star
of Lebanon on August 26th. (See "Owners Upset over Cat-Shooting Incident; City Says It Was a Public Safety Concern.")
"It's so violent that they did this to our animal and made no effort to call the humane society or find his owners."
Press reports fail to disclose how Stone disposed of Haze's body and since the police did not order a necropsy it now is too late to determine if he was ailing in any fashion because a cat's remains will decompose in a matter of days in hot weather. Since it is customary for post-mortems to be conducted on all animals that are suspected of having rabies, the officer's failure to do so is just one more bit of evidence that he is an outrageous liar.
It did not take long for the fallout resulting from Haze's premeditated murder to reverberate throughout Lebanon's population of twenty-thousand residents. Not unexpectedly, it was Stone who got the ball rolling.
"Something needs to (be) done. If this is common practice it needs to be changed," she told The Western Star.
"My husband (Randall) and I have not eaten since Sunday morning. We are just sick. We close our eyes at night and see his little face and to think as good of care we took of him for almost seven years, these were his last moments and that was the way he had to die; it's unbearable."
Stone's pet sitter, Cynthia Johnson of Stanwood Drive, immediately called for the establishment of a voluntary task force to come to the aid of sick and injured animals. "I would love to also hear other options. I would love to hear that other people think this is so wrong, that we can come up with some different and better solutions so this doesn't happen again," she told The Western Star
in the article cited supra.
"This was someone's pet."
Some sort of private initiative desperately is needed because the Warren County Humane Society is so derelict in its responsibilities to the animals that it categorically refuses to come to the aid of those in distress. Although in this instance it never was called, that would not have made any difference despite the fact that its headquarters is located only 1.4 miles from where Haze was murdered.
It will accept animals that are dropped off on its doorstep but even that is problematic since the Lebanon Police refuse to transport them in their cruisers under any circumstances. Plus, the county dog warden will not touch cats with a ten-foot pole.
As if the cold-blooded murder of Haze were not bad enough in its own right, Lebanon's shameful and utterly disgraceful political establishment was quick to close ranks behind the police officer. Right off the bat City Manager Pat Clements came out and ludicrously proclaimed that the animal cruelty statutes did not apply in this case because it was a matter of health, safety, and civic welfare. (See photo of him above on the right.)
"Based on the information I have received, it appears that the officer's actions were necessary and in compliance with departmental policies," he pontificated to The Western Star.
If indeed the animal cruelty laws can be suspended either upon a whim or for convenience sake, then no animal's life is any longer worth a plugged nicked in Lebanon. Moreover, Clements' sottise
is an open invitation for every sort of abuse imaginable.
Clements' descent into the realm of reductio ad absurdum
logic brought a swift response from Bruce Langos of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. "You cannot willfully and without consent of the owner injure an animal in any way," he wrote to Clements according to the August 26th edition of the Dayton Daily News
. (See "Couple Seek (sic) Policy Change after Police Officer Shoots Pet Cat.")
As Clements and his fellow cronies within the Lebanon political establishment should know, it is illegal under both state and local law to kill a cat. Consequently, Langos is planning to ask the state to investigate Haze's murder.
Although the handwriting clearly was on the wall as far as Lebanon's intransigent political establishment was concerned, Stone nonetheless persevered and took her case before the City Council on September 13th. Fifty citizens turned out but only seven of them were allowed to speak.
"Regardless of whether he was a stray or was sick or injured, that gave him (the police officer) no right to execute him," Stone told the politicians according to the September 15th edition of The Western Star. (See "Supporters of Shot Cat Want a Dialogue Started.")
"No right whatsoever."
The thoroughly heartless, unjust, and self-serving politicians let it be known from the outset that they not only were well beyond all moral and political persuasion but not about to be lectured to by either Stone or anyone else. "We all have different perspectives...absolutely everyone of us up here feels sorry," Mayor Amy Brewer barked back in response to an outburst from some of Haze's supporters. (See photo of her on the right above.)
In addition to serving as mayor, Brewer is a notorious multiple dipper at the public till who, inter alia
, teaches art at Donovan Intermediate School and serves on the Warren and Clinton County Mental Health Board. Still not satisfied with all of that, she additionally models for a motorcycle rag and owns along with her husband a printing business downtown. Stone accordingly is wasting her time if she thinks that anyone as ensconced in Lebanon's power structure as Brewer cares one whit about either cats or justice.
Nevertheless, Stone's threatened lawsuit against the city had the politicians shaking so furiously in their silk drawers that they made sure that their legal counsel, Mark Yurick, was on hand in order to read the Riot Act to Haze's supporters. "There's no indication this officer acted maliciously or willfully in any way," Yurick, in an utterly stupefying twisting of both truth and logic, declared to those assembled according to The Western Star.
"Nobody up sitting here, including the police officer, is happy about this situation," he continued to blow long and hard. "Everybody up here is sorry. We're very sorry about it."
The only kernel of truth contained in Yurick's and Brewer's crocodile tears is that they both are indeed sorry excuses for human beings. Totally lacking in all sincerity, the tenor of their apologies makes them sound more like threats than anything else. It is as if the politicians were saying to Stone: "All right, we've said we are sorry. Now, beat it and leave us alone or else!"
If Brewer and her fellow political hacks were the least bit genuine, they would have not only fired the police officer on the spot but arrested him and charged him with murder. After all, it is the duty of politicians to uphold the law. They next would have reached out to Stone by not only apologizing and meaning it, but offering her substantial financial compensation for her loss as well.
Most important of all, they immediately would have rewritten their draconian ordinances regarding the handling of cats. Specifically, police officers in Lebanon would be prohibited from coming within ten feet of a cat, let alone dispensing their own patented brand of barbaric street corner justice.
The City Council furthermore should part with a few of its precious shekels
in order to establish a legitimate no-kill shelter in Lebanon where the lives of all animals would be held to be sacrosanct. That would put a permanent end to all of this senseless killing and abuse and for once in their miserable lives the politicians would have done something worthwhile. Instead, they have chosen to wallow in murder, lies, and phony apologies.
In a way, the aberrant behavior of the police and elected officials in Lebanon is merely par for the course as far as how they treat cats throughout Ohio. For example, back on March 27, 2008 E.C. "Betty" Blair, a Lorrain County Commissioner from Elyria, recommended that cats be tasered. (See Cat Defender post of April 8, 2008 entitled "Ohio Politician Proposes Adding Cats to the Growing List of Pigs, Other Animals, and Humans Killed by Tasers.")
On December 13, 2006, Janice L. Rolfe, a retired English teacher from Grandview Heights, was arrested by Hilliard police officer Shane O'Connor and charged with littering as well as illegally sheltering an animal. Her attorney, Mark A. Serrott, successfully argued in court that feeding a cat was not littering and that Hilliard's ban on sheltering animals pertained only to livestock.
Consequently, the charges against his client were dismissed. (See Cat Defender post of February 26, 2007 entitled "Charged with Feeding a Feral Cat Named Fluffy, Retired Ohio English Teacher Beats the Rap.")
In 2004, the statehouse in Columbus was overrun with rats but luckily a dozen cats showed up and quickly brought the situation under control. Instead of being grateful for the cats' excellent work, the politicians ordered their expulsion a year later. (See Cat Defender post of October 20, 2005 entitled "After Ridding the Ohio Statehouse of Rats, Cats Now Find Themselves Facing Eviction.")
Cruelty to cats in the Buckeye State is by no means confined to police officers and politicians. For example, a male gray and brown cat was killed by an archer in Miami Township, Montgomery County, in July of 2007. (See Cat Defender post of August 2, 2007 entitled "Ohio Cat Shot in the Leg with an Arrow Is Forced to Endure a Long-Drawn-Out and Excruciating Death.")
Unfortunately, the Lebanon Police's cold-blooded murder of Haze was not an isolated incident but rather is a fairly common occurrence all across America from sea to shining sea. For instance, on Labor Day of 2009 the police in Raymore, Missouri, summarily executed Kelly Wesner's nineteen-year-old deaf cat, Tobey. (See photo of him on the right above.)
The events that led to his demise are eerily similar to those that did in Haze. In particular, he went out for a stroll and wound up inadvertently trespassing on a cat-hater's property.
The ailurophobe first trained a garden hose on him and then telephoned the police to erroneously report that a large, vicious feral cat with rabies had scratched a girl. The police promptly arrived johnny-on-the-spot, pumped two shotgun blasts into his tiny head, and then wrapped his bloody corpse in a plastic bag and deposited it in a Dumpster.
Like Stone, Wesner was left with the gruesome and heartbreaking task of retrieving Tobey's corpse. "He was our family member," she later said. "He was the sweetest animal (and he) was always there to be your friend. He didn't know a stranger."
In the aftermath of the shooting, the Raymore Police claimed that Tobey had his claws extended and that it took three officers in order to get the scratching and clawing cat into a box. That undoubtedly qualifies as one of the biggest lies ever told in that Tobey had been declawed and therefore was not in any position to scratch anyone.
He also suffered from Feline Hyperthyroidism and his weight had plummeted to only six pounds and that petit fait
makes a barefaced liar out of the neighbor who sicced the cops on him. As was the case with Haze, if the police had truly believed that Tobey had rabies they would have saved his corpse for testing rather than tossing it in the trash.
Finally, although the Raymore Police made a big deal out of Tobey's lack of a collar, they made absolutely no effort whatsoever to scan him for an implanted microchip. (See Cat Defender post of September 16, 2009 entitled "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.")
In stark contrast to the recalcitrant sticks-in-the-mud who rule the roost in Lebanon, Acting Police Chief Roger Mayberry shortly thereafter changed his department's protocol in order to allow strays to be taken to shelters and clinics and for dead animals to be left with Wayside Waifs in Kansas City. The Humane Society of Missouri pledged to launch its own independent investigation into Tobey's murder but nothing further has been heard from it.
On March 22, 2008, another unidentified cat-hater telephoned the police in Cecil, Pennsylvania, in order to complain about a group of cats loitering on either his or her property. Being neither a trained veterinarian nor an expert on rabies, the caller nonetheless insisted that one of the felines was rabid.
Upon the arrival of a police officer, all of the cats took to their heels except Roger Oldtaker's ten-year-old Persian, Elmo. As a consequence, the officer trapped him, dragged him across the street and into the woods, and then shot him. (See photo of him on the right above.)
"He was not injured. He just didn't know where to run," Oldtaker later said. "Another cat ran away, and the policeman said if my cat would have run, he would have let him go."
Although Elmo was not wearing a collar, the officer most certainly must have known because of his friendly demeanor and where he was found that he belonged to a nearby family. Just as telling, since Persians are expensive, high-maintenance cats that are easily rehomed, not too many of them wind up roughing it. (See Cat Defender post of March 31, 2008 entitled "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo.")
There are several recurring similarities in the deaths of Haze, Tobey, and Elmo. First of all, in each case the police employed lethal force based solely upon the uncorroborated lies of cat-hating neighbors and that type of flagrant police misconduct should not be tolerated in any halfway civilized society. It is not only patently immoral and illegal but police officers are not competent to make those types of life and death decisions; that is the job of judges and juries.
Secondly, although the police claimed that all three cats were rabid, their failure to order necropsies exposes those charges to be lies. Thirdly, the cops willfully ignored all evidence of domesticity in order to falsely brand the cats as ferals and strays.
Fourthly, although the killers in each case gassed long and hard about the cats not wearing collars, their failure to scan for implanted microchips proves that they either did not care or were too lazy in order to conclusively determine the cats' socio-economic status.
The heinous crimes committed against cats by police officers are by no means limited to their rôle
as the self-appointed death squads of ailurophobes. Some of them just like to kill cats.
For example, off-duty North Carolina State Trooper Shawn C. Houston of 2851 Icard Ridge Road in Granite Falls trapped and shot to death his neighbor's five-month-old orange and white kitten, Rowdy, in October of 2009 because he allegedly had been climbing on his vehicles. (See photo of Rowdy below.)
At trail, Houston was let off with the payment of $125 in court costs although his employer wisely gave him the boot on January 22, 2010. (See Cat Defender post of July 8, 2010 entitled "North Carolina State Trooper Who Illegally Trapped and Shot His Next-Door Neighbor's Cat, Rowdy, Is Now Crying for His Job Back.")
In addition to gunning down domestic cats, cops heap some of their worst abuse on those who belong to managed TNR colonies. In particular, they have been known to call in Animal Control officers in order to trap and kill the cats.
Secondly, they often destroy and steal the cats' feeding stations, food and water bowls, and winterized shelters. In doing so they sometimes crush to death cats and kittens living inside them.
Because the cats' caretakers largely are tapped out due to the expense of maintaining the colonies, they therefore are not in any position to hold those lawless cretins accountable in a court of law. In the end, attacking and killing homeless cats is just one more way that cops get their perverted kicks; after all, they do the same thing to homeless men and women.
Cats are not the only companion animals that are forced to suffer at the hands of trigger-happy cops. For example, on April 15, 2003 a ten-month-old pit bull mix named Dosha escaped from the yard of her owner, Louetta Mallard, in Clearlake, California. (See photo of her below.)
She shortly thereafter was mowed down by the driver of a pickup truck. An unidentified officer from the Clearlake Police Department arrived on the scene and immediately pumped a bullet into the collarless dog's head.
Dosha's body was removed to a freezer at Animal Control but, astonishingly, she was found to have regained consciousness two hours later. A veterinarian subsequently removed the bullet and treated her for hypothermia and she eventually was returned to Mallard. (See People Magazine, May 12, 2003, "Dosha the Wonder Dog.")
That is one more glaring example of just why police officers do not have any business shooting animals. In addition to nearly killing Dosha, the gunshot damaged her hearing and she nearly froze to death at Animal Control.
Although not publicized nearly as much, the carnage that they needlessly inflict upon wildlife and farm animals is incalculable. (See Cat Defender posts of May 5, 2008 and January 28, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Chicago's Rambo-Style Cops Corner and Execute a Cougar to the Delight of the Hoi Polloi and Capitalist Media" and "Hopped Up on Vodka and Pot, Trio Taunted Tatiana Prior to Attacks That Led to Her Being Killed by Police.")
Since police officers are seldom if ever held accountable for all the despicable crimes that they commit against cats and other animals, it is imperative that those who care about cats take certain precautions. First of all, they should actively try to ascertain the identities of all cat-haters in their communities and thus keep a close eye on them.
Secondly, they should acquaint themselves with the policies and procedures of police departments, Animal Control officers, humane groups, dog wardens, and private exterminators. That task is not nearly as simple as it sounds in that in order to arrive at the truth it is necessary first of all to wade through the lies and propaganda that these agencies and individuals so liberally disseminate.
One possible way of getting to the bottom of things would be for individuals to complain to these agencies about a fictional lost cat just to determine how big of a runaround and obfuscation of the truth that they receive in return. After all, it is far better to know how these groups think and function beforehand than to become caught up in their endless web of intrigue once a cat's life is on the line.
To attempt and locate a lost cat is to enter a labyrinth of deceit and lies where policemen are cold-blooded killers and Animal Control officers are stealthy characters who only can be reached by either telephone or pager.
On those rare occasions when shelter personnel choose to be somewhat forthcoming it is only to snow aggrieved cat owners with more lies and to waste their time and precious resources. Veterinarians likewise make a pretty penny off of doing in cats and therefore have very little credibility. (See Cat Defender post of July 28, 2011 entitled "Tammy and Maddy Are Forced to Pay the Ultimate Price after Their Owner and an Incompetent Veterinarian Elect to Play Russian Roulette with Their Lives.")
As a consequence, the most heinous of crimes imaginable are committed in this nether world grotesquely misnomered as animal protection. In reality, these groups and individuals form an animal liquidation fraternity operated both for profit and the sheer thrill of killing and abusing the powerless. "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate."
As far as those individuals who have been bamboozled by the American Bird Conservancy's lies and sophistry are concerned, they fail to realize that cats cruelly cooped up inside all the time are not nearly as secure as they believe. For example, cats find all sorts of ways of escaping. Building inspectors and other visitors carelessly allow them to get out and they are left with no choice but to flee during fires and other emergencies. (See Cat Defender post of April 3, 2010 entitled "Lumpi Is Unforgivably Left to Die in a Burning Apartment by the Ingrates Whose Lives He Saved.")
Burglars also break in and not only sometimes allow cats to escape but confiscate them as well. (See Cat Defender post of September 9, 2009 entitled "Home Alone in New Zealand, Friendly Little Nookie Is Repeatedly Kicked and Left for Dead by Vicious Burglars.")
Cats additionally get lost both on the way to the veterinarian and while under treatment as well. (See Cat Defender posts of March 7, 2008 and July 2, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Georgia Is Found Safe and Sound After Spending a Harrowing Twenty-Five Days Lost in the Bowels of the New York City Subway System" and "Lexi Was By No Means the First Cat to Be Lost by Woosehill Vets Any More Than Angel Was Their Last Victim of a Botched Sterilization.")
Traveling with a cat is a nightmare under any circumstances but that is especially the case if the mode of transportation happens to be par avion. (See USA Today, January 24, 2011, "Kitten Dies after Chilly Flight in Cargo," The Record Herald of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, July 21, 2011, "Amy Hamelin's Cat Escapes in Islamabad, Pakistan, Airport," and Cat Defender post of April 7, 2007 entitled "Pregnant Minskin Arrives in Oregon Frozen as Solid as a Block of Ice Following a Fatal Cross-Country Flight in the Cargo Hold of an Airliner.")
The only surefire method of putting a stop to what transpired in Lebanon is to make it illegal for any police officer, Animal Control officer, shelter, or veterinarian to kill cats of any description under any circumstances. If any of these bad actors are given even the slightest bit of leeway the killing is bound to continue.
Having completely struck out with City Council, Stone is contemplating legal action. While the officer in question, Hayslip and Vernon, and the city of Lebanon need to be held accountable, she has a tough road ahead of her.
In particular, the capitalist media's steadfast refusal to even name the killers of Haze, Tobey, and Elmo demonstrates not only how closely the various elements within the establishment stick together but just how committed they are to maintaining a culture dedicated to killing cats and other animals.
She might want to give some thought to getting together with Wesner, Oldtaker, and Mallard in order to explore the possibility of forming an organization similar to Mothers Against Drunk Driving that would be dedicated to putting an end to the police's practice of murdering cats and dogs.
If all else fails and she ultimately is unable to either secure any measure of justice for Haze or satisfaction for herself, she needs to seriously consider leaving Lebanon. Cases of irremediable injustice have an insidious manner of eating away at an individual's psychological health over time and she needs to be wary of that.
Her entire world has been torn asunder by this shocking act of barbaric criminality and it is going to take her considerable time in order to get her feet back on the ground. Worst of all, for Haze there are not going to be any more tomorrows.Photos: Dori Stone (Haze), City of Lebanon (Clements), Glenn Hartong of The Cincinnati Enquirer (Brewer), Kelly Wesner (Tobey), Roger Oldtaker (Elmo), Andrea Evans (Rowdy), and Acey Harper of People (Dosha).