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Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty After Throwing Unwanted Cat at Shelter Receptionist

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Thomas Alan Oligney, 69, of Hanceville, Ala., was arrested on Tuesday for disorderly conduct and animal cruelty after he threw a cat in a carrier at the receptionist at his local animal shelter.

Oligney came to the shelter to relinquish the animal and was told that he would have to come back another time and fill out paperwork. At that point he became very distraught, according to the Cullman Times report. He said, “I will just kill the cat myself,” and then threw it at the receiving counter where it fell off and rolled on the floor.

An animal control officer, shelter employees and a security camera captured the plastic cat carrier with the animal inside, being thrown toward the receptionist and landing hard on the ground, where it continued to flip over until it stopped right-side-up near the feet of the officer.

Police patrolman Adam Walker responded to the call for assistance from the shelter. Walker said the cat didn’t seem to sustain any serious injuries.

Mr. Oligney was arrested for animal cruelty and taken to the Cullman County Detention Center. The bond amount was not available, according to the Times.

Ironically, this incident occurred just as a group of west coast shelter experts, called “stakeholders,” have issued a California Sheltering Report “Whitepaper”, which purports to be “Charting a Path Forward ... to save all adoptable and treatable animals.” The first recommendation is “Intake Reduction” with a “best practice” recommendation to require a surrender appointment before accepting healthy animals.

Doesn’t look like this was the “best practice” at the Hanceville shelter!

Alabama Code, Section 13A-11-14, defines animal cruelty and penalties. It states “... Cruelty to a dog or cat is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to 6 months. Intentionally torturing a dog or cat is a Class C Felony punishable with a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years. Persons convicted could also be made to pay for the cost of care of the animal.”

There are also exceptions in the animal cruelty statute which are a little mind boggling: “Exceptions are made for research, protection of life or property, training, or shooting a dog or cat for urinating or defecating on property.”

Sources: Cullman Times, Best Friends, Cat Sheltering Report

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