Pastor Allegedly Throws Neighbor's Cat Off Bridge: Rick Bartlett Charged With Animal Cruelty
"Love thy neighbor" is a lesson that goes back to Leviticus, but Texas police say one pastor forgot the Golden Rule, or at least doesn't think it applies to your neighbor's cat.
Bastrop Christian Church Pastor Rick Bartlett, whose sermons promise "deliverance and renewal from wrongs suffered and caused" in life, allegedly left his neighbor's 12-year-old cat Moody in a cage in the back of his truck for three days, then chucked the pussy off a bridge where it fell 50 feet to its death on Jan. 15, according to KEYE TV.
Bartlett allegedly told animal control officers that he thought Moody was one of many stray cats afflicting his yard. He claims he captured it and put it in a cage in the back of his truck. He told officers that he forgot about the cat for three days before bringing it to police, though he denies deliberately neglecting the kitty, the site reported.
When cops noticed Moody's name tag -- with Barlett's neighbor Sarah Bell's name and address on it -- they offered to bring it home. Barlett allegedly offered to return the feline himself.
Officers found Moody's corpse below a bridge on the banks of the Colorado River on the same day, with a punctured lung.
“[Moody] was just laid out like a sack of potatoes,” said Greg Maynard, a veterinarian with the Crossroads Animal Hospital, told The Dreamin' Demon.
The pastor was arrested later that day and faces animal cruelty charges.
Bartlett did not return Huffington Post's call to comment on the matter. However, his blog on Bastrop Christian Church's website he esposes his values.
"Jesus said that the past should be left to bury its own dead and thus be finished with it," Bartlett writes. "No post mortems wanted or allowed. They are bad psychology and rotten religion ... rejoice in His promises of deliverance and renewal from wrongs suffered and caused."
In an interview with reporters, Sarah Bell recounted the ordeal of having to tell her 5-year-old daughter about Moody's death.
"She also asked me where Moody is now and I said, ‘Baby he’s in Heaven,’” she told KVUE.com.
“She knows the man who did this is a pastor at the Bastrop Christian Church and she said, ‘I don’t believe in Heaven anymore, Moody’s just dead.’”