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.
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.
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
"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
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
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.