NEW HAMPSHIRE – Local police are currently asking the public’s help identifying a woman who was photographed abandoning a cat in a shopping cart at Walmart last month.
The animal was in such terrible health that it had to be euthanized, according to authorities.
Police on Monday explained that they reviewed store surveillance video and spotted a dark sedan pulling into a handicap parking spot in front of the store approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday. A middle-age woman with reddish hair got out, retrieved a shopping cart from the inside of the store and returned to the car. It was there that she removed a cardboard box from the car and placed it in the shopping cart, which was then pushed back into the store.
The woman left the store and immediately drove off, a few minutes later store employees discovered the cat.
“The animal appeared to be malnourished and poorly groomed,” a police statement stated. “Due to its condition the cat was taken to an emergency veterinarian. The animal was determined to be in such poor health that it needed to be humanely euthanized.”
Police are currently investigating this matter for animal cruelty, a crime that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail for a first time offense or up to seven years in jail for a second offense.
“You have a duty of care to an animal just as you do to a child,” stated Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas.
“It’s hard to say the animal was abused,” he went on to say. “It clearly wasn’t taken care of very well. You don’t know what the (financial) means of the individual was who had the cat.”
Timothy Proctor, who is the support manager at the Walmart, said it was ‘very cruel’ for someone to treat an animal so.
“I think they should be charged with animal cruelty or something,” he noted.
Police released photos of the cat as well as the woman and her car, in the hopes that anyone with information can call Derry police at 432-6111.