If you haven't been following the news lately, you may have missed a story about some Wal-Mart employees in Indiana who took a pellet gun from the store shelves and used it to shoot a stray cat to death.
At first, it looked like these killers were going to face felony charges, but now it appears that only a misdemeanor is in the offing. According to an article published in today's Indianapolis Star, this may not be illegal at all:
Attorney Michael Keating said Indiana law allows people to kill stray animals on their property.
"Had they taken a shotgun with a deer slug and blown it into little bitty pieces, no crime would have been committed," he said Tuesday.
"You can shoot a stray animal on your property; that's been the law in Indiana since the time of the formation of the state," added Keating, who represents former assistant manager Christopher Anderson.
I can see both sides of this issue. I think you'd want the authority to kill wild animals that show up on your property. If this were a rat or even a racoon and it was running around your house, spreading disease, and biting your family, you'd want the right to kill it, without having to think twice.
However, this is not a rat or a racoon. It's a cat, a cat that could have been taken to a shelter and possibly adopted. It may sound hypocritical to make distinctions between different kinds of animal but I believe in them. Yes, I'll eat a chicken, but I would not eat a dog or a horse.
In many other countries, however, cats are considered more of a nuisance than a pet, because large bands of feral cats roam the streets. Can we really judge? I'd like to think so.