Friday, April 24, 2009

Church Cat

This is one of the oddest stories I've seen ...

The man who police say stabbed a church therapy cat and broke its ribs was charged with first-degree animal cruelty Wednesday -- the same day animal rescue workers said they think the animal will recover.

King County prosecutors also added a deadly-weapon enhancement to the felony charge, which could increase prison time for alleged attacker Tracy Clark up to 18 months.

Clark had been an in-patient at The Cross Church at 1320 S.W. 102nd St. On Sunday, police said he told another resident he'd "gutted the cat," according to court documents.

The orange-and-white cat, Scatt, had been helping recovering substance abusers at the church for nearly a decade. He showed up as a stray and at first was leery of people, but "adopted" the staff and residents.

"He would sleep on the guys' bunks, and people would feed him," said Mike Stinnette, the church's rehabilitation program director. "He would come in when we were having service and hang out with us.

"He's part of our family."

When the man who heard Clark's alleged confession returned from taking Scatt to the vet Sunday, Clark had packed his belongings and left the center.

"Some of the guys we deal with who come from a little harder background wanted to go take care of the guy themselves," Stinnette said. "I was probably one of those guys. But we didn't."

Stinnette called police after seeing Clark walking in White Center and followed him until King County Sheriff's deputies arrived.

"Clark admitted to taking the cat by the throat and throwing the cat hard against the wall after it attacked him," Det. Debby Schmitz wrote in a probable-cause document.

Police said Clark admitted the knife he was found with was the one he used to stab the cat, but claimed he was defending himself.

Scatt had a 7-inch cut, according to police. Animal rescue workers said he also had broken ribs.

First-degree animal cruelty was a misdemeanor, but in the early 1990s the King County Prosecutor's Office asked the Washington State Legislature to amend the statute making cases involving deliberate acts of cruelty a felony.

"This is exactly the kind of case we had in mind when we asked for changes to the law," King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a statement. "We know from case studies that many offenders who exhibit cruelty toward animals escalate from their violence and direct it toward people."

If Scatt does not have an internal infection from the stab wound, he could return to the church late this week, a spokesman for animal rescue group Pasado's Safe Haven said.

The cat is being treated at the South Seattle Veterinary Hospital, where church staff said the medical bill is more than $300. He's being given intravenous antibiotics and Pasado's Safe Haven has offered to pay for his care.

The organization is accepting donations here.

Clark is being held on $50,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for May 6.

Its blatantly obvious that this cat, for nearly a decade, had ruled over its human minions in the Church Rehab and Recovery program. That said, one of the cat's minions decided, for whatever reason, to revolt against the cat. Claiming Self Defense (!?!?!), the guy choked and stabbed the cat.

Now, everyone else in the program was willing to go after this guy to 'take care of the guy themselves' - I can only imagine what that means amongst drug addicts and street thugs - but instead, the guy was arrested, and felony charges were brought against him, and he's being held on $50,000.00 bail!

Apparently, the cat is going to be fine, and will return to the Rehab center later on this week.

AU2012 asks, Self Defense, or Assassination attempt of a Cat who clearly has dominion over humans in the program.

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