Friday, December 31, 2004

Indiana: Wal-Mart employees, Christopher Anderson, 29, and Jeffrey Hardin, 21, charged with repeatedly shooting a cat with a pellet gun until it died

INDIANA -- Two Wal-Mart employees have been charged with felony animal cruelty after authorities said they followed a manager's orders to shoot and kill a stray cat.

The men, both assistant managers at the store, told police the manager had ordered them to get rid of the animal, which was living in a storage trailer behind their store.

Christopher Anderson, 29, and Jeffrey Hardin, 21, repeatedly shot the cat with a pellet gun from the store until it died, a sheriff's report said.

Wal-Mart conducted an investigation and said it had fired three employees over the incident.

The company did not name the employees.

"We were sickened by this cruelty," Kevin D. Miller, regional vice president for the Arkansas-based retailer, said Thursday.

The company said it planned to donate $10,000 to be shared by the Vanderburgh County and Warrick County humane societies in Indiana.

(Los Angeles Times - Dec 31, 2004)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Illinois: New state's attorney John Barsanti doesn't care about animals suffering at the hands of Lynda Smit

ILLINOIS -- In a turn of events brought on largely by the election of a new Kane County state's attorney, Aurora resident Lynda Smith will not face felony animal cruelty charges.

On Nov. 30, former state's attorney Meg Gorecki said Smith faced a possible grand jury indictment after Judge William Brady vacated her July plea to misdemeanor animal cruelty because Smith never signed a waiver of her right to a jury trial on the day of her conviction. Gorecki left office Dec. 1.

The charges stem from Smith's possession of 26 cats and one dog in August and September 2003.

Debra Bree, Kane County assistant state's attorney, said Thursday that she "reviewed the case with John Barsanti, our new state's attorney, and we decided we're not going to take the case to the grand jury for felony charges.

"We've reviewed the evidence, the facts and circumstances of the case and we're just going to go ahead and proceed with a misdemeanor at this time."

Smith said Thursday that she was surprised with the news.

"I'm not guilty," she said, "and I didn't understand how they could do that because I didn't kill animals."

(Chicago Tribune - December 10, 2004)

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