Ottumwa, IA — A family’s call to have a chicken removed from their yard ended in a show of horror this week after an Ottumwa police officer showed up instead of animal control. Instead of simply grabbing the chicken or moving it out of their yard, this cop beat the chicken with his baton and stomped it with his boot.
On Saturday, Laura Enloe explained to KTVO that some of her relatives called animal control to remove a chicken that had wandered into their yard. Because the animal control officer was off duty, an Ottumwa police officer responded instead.
When the officer arrived he pulled out his baton and beat the chicken to death while stomping on it. All the while the family watched in horror. After watching the cop kill the chicken in such an inhumane way, Enloe says her family filed an animal cruelty complaint against him.
“I know a lot of people think it’s ridiculous because it’s just a chicken, right?” Enloe said. “But in my opinion, it’s really a much bigger deal than the chicken. In my mind, it puts that officer’s character into question because it seems like senseless violence to me.”
According to KTVO, Ottumwa Police Lt. Chad Farrington said the department is still reviewing the officer’s actions to determine whether any violation of protocol occurred. Farrington declined to say whether the officer’s conduct will result in disciplinary action.
“The Ottumwa Police Department obviously respects the sanctity of life,” Farrington said. “Every complaint that comes into the police department, we will take seriously.”
According to the Ottumwa, Iowa – Code of Ordinances
It shall be lawful for any person who finds an animal at-large on public or private property to seize and hold the animal. Any persons so seizing and holding an animal may restrain the animal on their premises by an adequate protective fence or by leash, cord or chain that does not allow the animal to go beyond their real property line. The person seizing and holding the animal shall immediately notify the police department and shall be responsible for the humane treatment of the animal while it is under that person’s custody until picked up by the community service officer. If the animal is unclaimed by its owner after five days, the person who found the animal may claim the animal after paying the appropriate fees.
Bashing a chicken to death with your baton and boot is hardly “humane treatment.”
Further down the ordinance, it states that if an animal must be put down, the officer is obligated to do so in a humane way. Neither of these factors were met.
“I think that they either need to have another animal control officer,” Enloe said. “Or they need to train the rest of the officers about the animal control laws and procedures.”
The department also noted that they will not release the officers name.
In the study of psychology, there is a term for those who hurt animals for personal pleasure. It is called intentional animal torture and cruelty and even has its own initialism, IATC. Psychologists have long studied the reasons behind why a person would intentionally harm an animal and the types of people associated with this behavior are often society’s worst. So, when a police officer beats a chicken to death with his baton, it should certainly raise some red flags.
While it is common knowledge that police officers kill dogs on a regularly basis, many folks don’t realize that cops also kill lots of small animals in sadistic ways as well.
In August, TFTP reported on the case of North Sioux City police officer Derek McIntosh. McIntosh was arrested after he was caught trapping cats in his neighborhood and bringing them to a nearby cemetery, where he would kill them.
Before that, we reported on a cop in Texas who went into a dog shelter, picked up a wooden 2×4 and beat three dogs, killing one of them.
In New York, TFTP reported on two officers who were suspended after they chased down and ran over a groundhog during a police union golf tournament. Three-year veteran of the force, Tyler Sammon, drove the golf cart, and Matt Spath rode as passenger when the two reportedly chased the animal until it was exhausted, and then cruelly crushed it beneath the cart’s tires — possibly more than once — in what the Albany Times-Union deemed an act of “woodchuck homicide.”