Prosecutor: Law says no criminal charge for cat drowner

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PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. – A man who drowned a cat after it had clawed and bit a person will not face charges according to a press release from the Platte County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd stated that Missouri animal abuse law does not apply to the killing of animal by an owner.

Thomas Newhouse told Lake Waukomis police that he had placed the cat in a carrier and drowned it in Lake Waukomis on July 14th. He said it had bitten and scratched a family member. Zahnd said that while Newhouse’s method was upsetting, he had to enforce the law as it is written.

“I am certain many people will be very disappointed in this outcome. But their disappointment should be shared with Missouri lawmakers, who have provided a complete legal defense in this case,” Zahnd stated in the release.

He also said that his office received significant outcry from the public. More than 1,200 people have signed an online petition started by Annette Ruiz from Kansas City, Mo. The petition was pushing for the prosecutor’s to pursue a class D felony against Newhouse.

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