A police officer is under fire for shooting five kittens to death in front of children in North Ridgeville, Ohio.
The Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wants animal cruelty charges to be pressed against Officer Bob Accorti, WKYC reported.
Accorti, who is the Humane Officer for the North Ridgeville Police Department, was dispatched to a home Monday after a homeowner reported that a family of feral cats was living in their yard, according to ABC 15.
The woman noted that the cat family was causing a flea problem that spread to her home. Her husband had already tried to remove the kittens himself, but they growled and hissed at him, according to an NRPD press release obtained by WTAM.
She told police that when Accorti showed up, he told her that the animal shelters were full but that the cats would go to "kitty heaven." He then shot the five kittens, who were all between 8 and 10 weeks old, though the mother cat was able to flee with her life.
The homeowner noted that her four children, ages 5 months to 7 years, were watching from inside the house and started screaming and crying when the shooting began. The woman said she understood the animals were going to be euthanized, but she didn't realize Accorti was going to shoot them next to her house.
NRPD Chief Mike Freeman wrote in the press release, "I have decided [Accorti's] actions were appropriate and have decided not to impose any disciplinary measures for the incident."
He added, "Research and other animal organizations accept shooting as an acceptable means of euthanasia."
The chief did admit that Accorti should have communicated better with the homeowner about how the animals would be killed.
Terese Landon, executive director of the Ohio SPCA, told The Morning Journal that she believes Accorti should be prosecuted for his actions.
"The kittens were just sitting there," Landon said. "They didn’t have to die. They were only 10 months old at most and they still could have been socialized.”