BLOOMFIELD — A Bloomfield police officer has been disciplined for not following city code when he shot a cat that had been trapped last month.
“We’re sorry that it happened and we will make sure that it never happens again,” said Bloomfield Mayor Phil Schroeder.
The officer, Wally Holz, has been a member of the police force for 15!-W years and had never been disciplined before, Schroeder said.
“We regret that it happened,” Schroeder said. “It was not handled the way it should have been handled.”
Lisa Kilgore, a Des Moines veterinarian, said the cat belonged to her parents, John and Teresa Kauth, who live just outside of town.
“Larry was a 2-year-old, neutered male domestic shorthair. He was up to date on his vaccinations and was given monthly flea prevention. He was an outdoor cat,” she said.
The cat went missing around Jan. 13.
Kilgore said her mother confronted Holz on Jan. 21. He indicated to her that he had trapped the cat and shot him within 50 feet of her parents’ property. He then allegedly dumped the cat’s body behind a maintenance shed downtown, Kilgore said.
Schroeder said the Bloomfield City Council met Feb. 3. One of the matters discussed was the officer’s handling of the cat situation.
Following an executive session, the council voted to given Holz a written reprimand.
Schroeder said there have been citizens who have complained about feral cats in town. The cat was trapped within city limits. The Kauth property is outside of city limits, he said.
There also was a resident in the area who complained that a cat was getting into his garbage, the mayor said.
Nevertheless, the officer should have had the cat impounded for five days where it would have been fed and cared for to give someone a chance to claim it, the mayor said.
“If there is any further violation of the city code, it will be dealt with more severely, including termination of employment,” Schroeder said.
Kilgore said the whole situation was handled poorly. The public should be outraged that a police officer shot the cat and discarded a dead animal's body behind a city shed, she said.
“Larry is finally at peace and I will do everything in my power to make sure this never happens to another animal again,” Kilgore said.