Justice for Chetah.
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We owned 6 well-taken care of cats, all fixed, all shots up to date, very friendly. These cats have been indoor cats for 90% of their lives but they enjoyed running around in our recently purchased 29 acre farm. All cats wore collars (although some refused to keep them on or lost them). So we had been letting them out to go chase bugs and each other - typical kitty stuff. We were notified by our neighbor from across the street - Mr. Andrew Shephard of Sanford, NC - that our 'grey' cat 'whacked' at his chicken. The chicken lives in a coup built into a trailer window approximately 4 feet off the ground. He said it was a grey cat. We own a grey cat but our grey cat was never over there (to the best of our knowledge) so we figured it was one of many strays in the area. To keep the peace, we then took measures by buying noise makers to keep the cat in-bounds of our property. It worked for a while but one day last week, Mr. Shephard approached my wife when I was not home and informed her of another cat issue but could not tell us what cat it was. He was rude and tried to intimidate her as I was not there. We kept an eye on the cats closely for a week, did not observe them near his trailer and 2 nights ago, the Sheriff showed and said they were filing a formal complaint against us to Animal Rescue. We spoke to the land owners that Mr. Shephard rents from and they were OK with our cats on their property. We provided them with vet records and pictures so they'd know what cats were ours.
The next night, October 25th, the same Deputy from the previous night showed up at approximately 7pm and asked if one of our cats were missing. We said, 'yes.' And he notified us that Andrew H. Shephard had killed it. The cat had a collar and was shot from behind running away behind the ear. The Deputy spoke to us and said that he believed in his opinion that Mr. Shepard was looking for a reason to kill our cats. Mr. Shepard killed our cat 'Chetah' KNOWINGLY while we were outside only 100 feet away. Instead of yelling over to us to remove our cat, he shot the cat unapologetically. My wife was and still is devastated. We can't have kids so this was like a child and this man did this on purpose and with no regrets.
In my honest opinion, what separates this from simply Mr. Shephard protecting his property (the chickens) and crosses into the realm of animal cruelty is:
1. The knowledge of Chetah being a household pet. She was not a stray and the land owners had her vet records.
2. Chetah had a collar on with our updated phone number. Chetah's body was found with the collar on.
3. This man was hostile towards my wife in two previous encounters, trying to intimidate her when I was not present. (Relevant to his character more so than the actual abuse)
4. The cat was shot running away, 8-10 feet from the chicken coup and was no longer a threat to the chickens. He KILLED THE CAT when it was no longer a threat.
5. We were 100 feet away from Mr. Shephard grilling on our patio, he could have yelled over to us before killing the cat.
6. In our 3-4 previous encounters with Mr. Shephard, he never once mentioned our situation escalating to a possible shooting of the house cat. Had he done so, the cats would've been locked up indoors until another solution could be found.
7. Chetah had come back with apparent abdomen injuries and was sensitive in the belly a week prior. We suspect - can't prove - Mr. Shephard abused her at some point.
8. Mr. Shepard, after the incident, spoke to the land owners and assured them he would never shoot their pets, ONLY OURS. This illustrates malicious intent towards us - discriminatory shooting of certain pets.
9. There was no way the cat posed a threat to the chicken's life. The coup was 4 feet off the ground and the cat could not get inside.
10. This cat's body was 16 inches in length and barely 5 lbs in weight. She was the runt of her litter. She could not have hurt his chicken or anything if she tried. An eye witness who recovered her body said the coup that hangs out the window like an air conditioning unit was shoddy and the wire may have been what was hurting the chicken's feet.
Chetah was the sweetest cat in the world. She would play fetch and had a close bond with my wife. I am calling for Animal Cruelty charges to be brought up against this MONSTER, Andrew H. Shephard, to ensure he never abuses innocent house pets again. I believe the evidence is overwhelming to support such action.
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