A concerned citizen called 911 on Dec. 6, 2015, to report an injured cat in North Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, and the responding police officer ended up fatally shooting the feline (video below).
"In this particular case, I do not find the officer acted maliciously," Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli announced during a press conference on May 2, notes WFMZ.
"I believe that he made a judgment call that not many folks will agree with, and I think perhaps the officer could have extended other efforts to capture the cat," Morganelli added.
Police Officer Leighton Purselle answered the 911 call about the cat, named Sugar.
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"He observed that the cat showed signs of mange, hair loss, [and was] bleeding from an injury on the cat's back area," Morganelli stated.
Jenna Filszar, attorney for Sugar's owner Thomas Newhart, said of her client: "By the time he realized she had gotten out, she was already dead."
"Officer Purselle fired a single shot from his department-issued .38 caliber service revolver, instantly killing the cat," Morganelli confirmed, WWOR reported.
However, Newhart told reporters that Officer Purselle "really didn't show any compassion or common sense knowledge and didn't really follow the law to a T in doing his job."
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Newhart recalled that he took his cat to a veterinarian who found there were no serious injuries besides the gunshot wound, which Morganelli's investigation confirmed.
Seven people were interviewed during Morganelli's investigation.
The unidentified resident, who originally saw the cat, said it was injured, but that's not the same story that he told Newhart.
"Stories changed pretty rapidly once this gained some attention," Fliszar said, according to WFMZ. "So it's hard to tell who's telling the truth or what the actual facts are."
Morganelli said that he was going to issue Purselle an animal cruelty citation, "which basically indicates that you cannot ill-treat an animal by failure to provide veterinary care. I think that is what his failure was."