February 4, 2015

Sheriff says facts do not back
up cat abuse charges

In a news release, Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie addressed charges of cat abuse that have been made in online petitions that have been attracting attention on the Internet.

The petitions allege multiple cases of animal abuse at a feral cat colony on Hatteras Island in the village of Frisco. The petitions also charge that the county, the sheriff and his deputies, the state, and the governor are ignoring complaints about the abuse.

The petitions have been garnering hundreds of signatures from across the county and around the world on various websites. 

The Island Free Press has had several comments and/or inquires about the situation. And Doughtie says he has received a number of comments and inquiries from people who have read about the abuse and he feels it is necessary to address the allegations.  

“Over the last several months, at least three petitions have been started and posted online," he said in today's news release, "alleging that several cats have been killed on Hatteras Island.  One of these petitions is entitled:  "HATTERAS, NC- LIVE KITTENS THROWN INTO THE AIR AND SHOT.  OTHERS DROWNED."

Doughtie said that the Dare County Sheriff’s Office has never received any complaints regarding kittens being thrown into the air and shot, or being drowned.  The records have been checked, he said, and no such report has been taken.

From Oct. 28, 2014 through Jan. 15, 2015, one petition alleges that eight cats have been killed. During this time, the Sheriff’s Office has received approximately 10 reports from the individual who authored the petitions.  Doughtie says that only one of those complaints involved a cat that had died. 

"This cat was turned over to our office, and a necropsy was performed to determine if the cat had been poisoned, as was reported to us and on the petition," the sheriff said. "The results of the necropsy could not confirm that the cat was poisoned.  The necropsy was performed by the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System."

Doughtie said that his office was not informed of any additional bodies of cats that supposedly were killed or died mysteriously. 

"We certainly would have performed additional necropsies had other bodies been pointed out to our office," he said in the news release.  "We have been provided no additional evidence, body or otherwise, to indicate that other cats have gone missing.  The author of the petition is the only person that is supposed to know how many cats there are in that particular area, and if any are missing or not.  Again, there has been no item of evidence, a witness, or a body to corroborate such an allegation.

Doughtie added:

"The Dare County Sheriff’s Office takes pride in the way and manner in which we serve our citizens.  This pride is extended to victims that are unable to advocate for themselves, such as our animals.  We have contacted another group on Hatteras Island that also tends to a large colony of cats to see if they are having similar problems.  This group has not experienced anything that would indicate foul play among their group of cats, and they do have cats that are close in proximity to the cats named in the petition."

In an effort to ensure that there is not anyone, for whatever reason, serially harming animals, the Dare County Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone that may have any information regarding any malicious injury to the Hatteras Island cats, or to any animal anywhere in Dare County, please report that information to the Dare County Sheriff’s Office at 252-475-5980 or Dare Central Communications at 252-473-3444.  If the event is in progress, please call 911.  If you wish to remain anonymous, you may contact the Dare County Crime Line at 252-473-3111.

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