‘Awwww! Look Mommy, kitties!’ Thats probably how a North Ridgeville, Ohio mom found out about the family of feral cats who’d taken up residence in a wood pile in her yard. She then did what a lot of moms with a house full of rugrats would do, she called city hall to have someone handle the problem. Fortunately, North Ridgeville has exactly the resource necessary to deal with situations like this and they called in Humane Officer Barry Accorti. So the retired NRPD sergeant arrived at the scene on Monday to handle the momma cat and her five kittens. And then the gunfire broke out . . .
Was Accorti attacked by a rabid, overly protective mother cat? Did he find a coiled copperhead in that same woodpile? Maybe an tooled-up tabby threatening him with imminent bodily harm? Not exactly.
(Accorti) allegedly told the homeowner that shelters were full and that the cats would be going to kitty heaven. He then pulled out his gun and shot the five, 8- to 10-week-old kittens.
Accorti allegedly told the homeowner that he isn’t supposed to do this, but it was justifiable. The woman ran into the house to shield her children, who were screaming and crying.
That’s right. He busted out his service pistol and blasted the felines right there in the middle of a residential neighborhood. As you’d expect, the community reaction to Officer Accorti’s decision to dispatch the cats with extreme prejudice hasn’t been what you’d call supportive.
The Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wants Humane Officer Barry Accorti fired…. OSPCA Executive Director Teresa Landon says Accorti should be fired and charged with five counts of animal cruelty. . . .
On Wednesday morning, dozens held a rally, upset the police department is backing the humane officer involved in the incident.
Many of those attending the rally Wednesday morning brought their own pets with them. They carried signs, including those asking for harsher penalties for animal abuse.
And after an apparently exhaustive inquiry into the trigger-happy Accorti’s lead launching, Chief Mike Freeman
circled the wagons and covered Accorti’s ass came to the conclusion that despite cracking off five shots in close proximity to who-knows-how-many innocent North Ridgevillians, there’s really nothing to see here and the town’s outraged citizens should just move the hell along.
After visiting the scene, talking with the responding officer and re-interviewing the complainant, I have decided his actions were appropriate and have decided not to impose any disciplinary measures for the incident. We will talk with the humane officers about improving their communications with the public. We are here to help those who seek our assistance. Our agency prides itself on not telling people, “It’s not our problem or there is nothing we can do for you.” This would be the easy way out. To walk away and leave a safety issue unresolved is irresponsible. At no time does this agency condone or allow the indiscriminate killing of animals, but we will continue to assist residents when there is a safety or nuisance condition.
Well, no one can accuse Officer Accorti of taking the easy way out, can they? So for his dedication, discretion, discernment and decision-making capabilities in the field, we hereby present our Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day award to Humane Officer Barry Accorti. Maybe the next time he comes across a similar infestation problem, he’ll use his new trophy to bludgeon the little critters to death rather than risking the lives of innocent bystanders.