Why were 2 men who intentionally shot 14 shelter cats charged with ‘misdemeanors?’

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Two men have been charged with Misconduct in Office and Animal Euthanasia Article Violation after 14 shelter cats were taken from the Marion County Animal Shelter in Marion County, South Carolina. According to a warrant, the cats were taken to a landfill where they were shot.

Richardson (left) Rogers (right)
Richardson (left) Rogers (right)

The tragic story of 14 shelter cats who were supposed to be given to a farmer but were instead shot was detailed in this September 9 National Cat Reporter article.

Marion Dan Richardson, 51, Code Enforcement Officer for Marion County and Henry Oliver Rogers, 33, were charged with the violations by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and were booked into Marion County Detention Center.

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Marion County, SC Chapter released a media statement September 29 on their Facebook community page

“We are shocked to learn that officer Marion Richardson is being charged only misdemeanor charges of “Improper Euthanasia” for brutally shooting cats he acquired from the Marion County Animal Shelter under false pretense of relocating them to local farms. Richardson’s attorney released a statement stating that shooting a cat in the head is “humane”.”

Solicitor Ed Clements made the final determination of misdemeanor charges in this case, but Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is concerned he did not have sufficient evidence to make a fully informed decision, which they believe would result in FELONY charges against Richardson.

The rescue group delivered a letter to Solicitor Clements on Thursday, explaining their concerns, asking him to rescind the misdemeanor charges and revisit the investigation to ensure all evidence and witnesses are fully considered before trial and/or plea bargaining begins. An online petition is available here.

It’s a tragedy that the loss of 14 innocent lives should result in misdemeanor charge instead of felony charges, which are filed when an animal in intentionally killed. Was the shooting of 14 cats not intentional? These cats could have gone to rescues or to a loving forever home. This man purposely lied to get possession of the cats so he could kill them.Am I missing something here?

According to SC Law SECTION 47-1-40. (B) which states, “A person who tortures, torments, needlessly mutilates, cruelly kills, or inflicts excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering upon an animal or by omission or commission causes these acts to be done, is guilty of a felony…”

Why were two men who intentionally shot 14 shelter cats charged with ‘misdemeanors?’ Please sound off in the comment section.

Follow Elisa Black-Taylor, Writer and Photographer on Facebook.

Source 1 and 2

 

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