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2 Wal-Mart workers charged after killing cat

Sun., Jan. 2, 2005, midnight

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Two Wal-Mart employees have been charged with felony animal cruelty after police said they followed a manager’s orders to shoot and kill a stray cat.

The men, both assistant managers at the store, told police the manager ordered them to get rid of the animal that was living in a storage trailer behind their store.

Christopher Anderson, 29, and Jeffrey Hardin, 21, repeatedly shot the cat with a pellet gun from the store until it died the following day, a sheriff’s report said.

Wal-Mart conducted an investigation and fired three employees involved in the cat killing. The company did not name the employees who were fired.

“We were sickened by this cruelty,” said Kevin D. Miller, regional vice president for the Arkansas-based retailer.

The company plans to donate $10,000 to split between the Vanderburgh County and Warrick County Humane Societies in Indiana.

Anderson and Hardin were arrested and released after a court appearance Wednesday.

A truck driver who reported the incident said he saw store employees placing what he believed to be a dead animal in shrink wrap a day after he heard workers joking about shooting the cat.

Store manager Darrel Weitzel told police he had told some of his employees to get a gun and get rid of the cat after attempts to coax it from the trailer failed, according to a police report.

In another attack on a cat, two 13-year-old girls from New Jersey were charged with animal cruelty after allegedly stomping on a kitten and then burying it up to its neck, killing the animal.

The girls bragged in school about what they had done, said Beverly Greco, an agent for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“This is beyond sick – it’s evil,” she said.


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