Thomas Newhouse of Shawnee, Kan., admitted to Lake Waukomis police that he placed the cat in a carrier and drowned it July 14. He said the cat had bitten and scratched a family member.
The case was referred to Zahnd’s office after what the prosecutor called a “significant public outcry.” Zahnd said in a news release Tuesday that his office had received numerous calls and emails. More than 1,200 people signed an online petition seeking Newhouse’s prosecution for a felony.
But Zahnd said Missouri’s animal abuse law does not apply to the killing of an animal by the owner or the owner’s agent.