A man from the town of Shawnee drowned a cat in Lake Waukomis after it had bitten and clawed a resident. However under the Missouri Animal Abuse Law he cannot be prosecuted. Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said that many people would be disappointed but that “their disappointment should be shared with Missouri lawmakers, who have provided a complete legal defense in this case. Prosecutors must enforce the laws as they are written; we do not have the power to change a law to fit a particular case.”
The man who drowned the cat is Thomas Newhouse. He told Lake Waukomis police that he had drowned the cat after it bit and scratch his fiancee. He had originally placed the cat in a carrier. Newhouse placed the carrier underwater and it was witnessed by a neighbor and children. Newhouse could have easily taken the cat to be euthanized but instead chose to drown it.
Zahnd was disheartened to hear of Newhouse’s methods. However, according to the Missouri Abuse Law which prohibits killing animals in certain ways or injuring them “does not apply to pet owners.” The prosector’s office received numerous emails and calls and 1200 people signed an online petition.
We really need to do something about this outdated law. Here’s the petition. Please sign it!