September 30, 2014

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National group pushes North Ridgeville for no-kill policy

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — A national group that advocates for cats said it will send a letter to Mayor David Gillock asking that he issue an order ending the killing of any feline by animal control officers.

“These brutal killings were not ‘euthanasia’ nor did it resolve a public safety issue,” Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies stated in a letter to be sent to the city, according to a press release issued Thursday by Alley Cat Allies, a Bethesda, Md., organization founded in 1990 dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats nationwide.

“It is shocking that Officer Barry Accorti was cleared of all wrongdoing,” William Gomaa, the group’s lead attorney, said in the statement.

“Humane officers and animal control officers should know better,” Gomaa said when contacted later Thursday.

Gillock, who had been out of town for a meeting, said Thursday evening by phone that “the main thing our officer did wrong was that he should have made sure kids were not around. He could have suggested to the lady to take them somewhere and come back later.”

Gillock affirmed Accorti, a retired police officer hired a year ago as one of two part-time humane officers, followed proper protocols.

“He was not using his service revolver at the time,” Gillock said. “He had a small .22 because he thought that was something no one could hear, but apparently the kids heard it.”

Accorti carries a Glock .45-caliber pistol as his normal service weapon, according to information provided by police Capt. Marti Garrow.

When Police Chief Michael Freeman went to speak with the homeowner the day after the shootings, the woman’s children were at home, Gillock said.

“They were talking to the cops, and they were fine,” Gillock said. “They were not traumatized.”

The city is having discussions with the Friendship APL and SPCA over prospects of adding more training and equipment for humane officers, Gillock said.

“Our protocols were followed, but maybe they need to be changed,” Gillock said.

According to a copy of the North Ridgeville Police Department’s policy for handling stray, injured, lost or found animals first issued in January 2006 and revised in 2011, such calls are to be handled “in a humane manner.”

A section of the policy addressing vicious, ill or injured animals, states “if the animal is vicious and cannot be captured without injury to the responding unit (officer), or presents a danger to the public, or is suffering from a serious sickness or injury, the officer may use a weapon to destroy the animal.”

The policy further states that animals needing to be destroyed “will be dispatched through the most reasonable method available for the time, location and circumstances.”

Gomaa maintained the feral kittens posed no danger “by any stretch.”

“Even without training, an experienced or new officer should realize shooting kittens is not a reasonable response.”

“These were not poor helpless kittens,” Gillock said. “They were wild animals the homeowner did not want to mess with as they hissed and growled and spit at him whenever he tried to approach them. They’ll bite and claw.”

The city’s general policy is to “trap or kill them on sight,” Gillock said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.


  • Larry Crnobrnja

    Apparently Accorti is a little sissy girl, because he was threatened by little kittens.

    • hotmamma

      Apparently Accorti did his job. Overgrown rats eliminated.

      • hottamomma

        thats right from hottamomma to anther hotmamma

        • Michele

          hahaha hot mamas. Sure…

    • Zen Grouch

      In my not so humble opinion…

      People who resort to name calling in half their posts are threatened by the real world.

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        They say the first step is recognizing you have a problem. Now that you have, you are on your way to recovery.

        • Zen Grouch

          …realizing that one is delusional is an even tougher nut to crack.

          Hang in there Bubba!

          **Hey… didn’t you say you were gonna stop responding to me?**

  • marty

    Cat burning was a form of zoosadistic entertainment in France prior to the 1800s. In this form of entertainment, people would gather dozens of cats in a net and hoist them high into the air from a special bundle onto a bonfire. In the medieval and early modernperiods, cats, which were associated with vanity and witchcraft, were sometimes burned as symbols of the Devil.

    According to Steven Pinker,the assembled people “shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized.”

    “It was the custom to burn a basket, barrel, or sack full of live cats, which was hung from a tall mast in the midst of the bonfire; sometimes a fox was burned. The people collected the embers and ashes of the fire and took them home, believing that they brought good luck. The French kings often witnessed these spectacles and even lit the bonfire with their own hands. In 1648 Louis XIV, crowned with a wreath of roses and carrying a bunch of roses in his hand, kindled the fire, danced at it and partook of the banquet afterwards in the town hall. But this was the last occasion when a monarch presided at the midsummer bonfire in Paris. AtMetz midsummer fires were lighted with great pomp on the esplanade, and a dozen cats, enclosed in wicker cages, were burned alive in them, to the amusement of the people. Similarly at Gap, in the department of the Hautes-Alpes, cats used to be roasted over the midsummer bonfire.”

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      Evidence of a weak mind. And that goes for those medieval folks, too.

    • Michele

      Hope all of those people are still amused as they, themselves, burn in an eternal lake of fire!

    • Pam Whiteside

      maybe you should rad up on the Black plague.

  • JJ

    We are hallmarked as a species by how we treat those that are weaker or offer us no inherent benefit. That a seasoned police veteran felt it was appropriate to discharge a firearm at a domicile against five -kittens- speaks volumes. That his chief felt this was appropriate speaks even more. I pray for the citizens of North Ridgeville, and hope that they speak their outrage and disgust at this monstrous act with their vote. People marvel at why there is such a chasm between law enforcement and the general populace … see it for yourself.

    • You Cant Handle Frank

      The people in Ridgeville should be happy these disease carrying overgrown rats are being exterminated.

      • Houndnurse

        Humans carry all kinds of diseases too, should we exterminate them too??

        • Michele

          I was just thinking the same thing Houndnurse!

      • Pam Whiteside

        I can handle him if he wasn’t such a coward he refueses to give his name.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1762437349 Melissa Merrill Snyder

        Less cats = more mice and rats. I’d rather have the cats…thanks!

  • T.Boehnlien

    I would like to know why the officer was carrying two fire arms?? I would also like to see the service manual at the police dept. regarding discharging a weapon. I have a family member who is a police officer, and am told that every police dept has a policy on discharging their weapon. I know the chief has cleared this officer, maybe because he wants to take the heat of the dept, and place it on the officer. North Ridgeville animal control believes they are from the “Good Ol Boys Club” and they do what they want! The do not care about getting animals back home! They wont even post a lost animal on Facebook, they just take it to Lorain County Kennel after 24 hrs. Not a HUMANE DEPT!!!!

    • Pam Whiteside

      This guy was is not a police officer, he is a humane officer, why was he carrying a gun atall

  • SweetScarlet

    “They were talking to the cops, and they were fine,” Gillock said. “They were not traumatized.”

    Hmm. So apparently the fact that they were not still screaming and crying and that they were able to talk to the Cops means they were not traumatized. Interesting logic there.

    How did I know the Mayor would side with the police? Perhaps because some of his family members were previously employed by NRPD, his loyalty lies not with the citizens, but its agencies.

  • Don Grantzki

    Whatever happened to the pellet gun the former humane officer used to kill the rabid raccoon that was menacing the driveway on Dorchester avenue?

  • Zen Grouch

    Ohhhh… A “NATIONAL” organization is gonna write a LETTER!

    Brace yourself North Ridgeville!

    I did a little research on “Alley Cat Allies” and it seems they aren’t exactly at the top of anyone’s list of charitable organizations. As in about 71 cents of every dollar collected goes into the administrator’s pockets.

    Then when they actually DO something, it’s kind of looney, like their attack on the Smithsonian, for publishing a study that concluded feral cats do great damage to the balance of nature, as in gobbling up song birds and other young animals, devastating areas, such as the woods between Colorado Ave. and the river in Lorain. That’s damage I’ve seen with my own eyes over a period of decades. Wild birds… gone… yowling cats… everywhere.

    **Writing angry letters is a tough job that requires time & huge compensations!**

    • Pam Whiteside

      you don’t even know what you are talking about. But you are just a fool too cowardly to use their real name and obviously too stupid to know what “ZEN” is

      • Zen Grouch

        As far as not knowing what I’m “talking about” I guess I could be wrong. I just went by watchdog groups that keep their eyes on charitable organizations.

        Maybe those groups just hate cats so much that they’ll lie as much as “Alley Cat Allies” would have you believe that the Smithsonian misrepresents feral cats, just to exterminate them.

        But I’m not wrong about feral cats decimating the wildlife in the Lorain woods that were once thriving with songbirds and other small living things.

        As far as using my real name goes…

        …would that give me license to be an angry name caller like you and others who seem to think that using your actual moniker makes you special?

        • Debbie Zsigray

          Zen, you do not have any idea or you do not understand or that you do not care one. I agree with Pam and those will agree with me. in big words. YOU DO NOT CARE ABOUT LIFE OF PEOPLE AND AINMALS.AND YOU ARE WATCHDOG EITHER BUT YOU LOVE TO HEAR YOUSELF TALK AND YOU THAT PEOPLE HAVE STOP AND LISTEN TO YOU.

          • Zen Grouch

            **in big words…**

            Sheesh… Your idea of using “big words” is to hit the cap lock key?

            Anyway, your post refuted nothing I’ve stated and added nothing to this conversation.

            I mean, it’s fine if you wish to convey absolutely nothing other than a personal attack. If that’s the case, I must say -Job well done!-

            As far as me going away, because you asked me to in the politest of ways… I’ll think about it.

            In the mean time, perhaps you could save your precious time by not reading my posts at all, much less responding to them.

          • Debbie Zsigray

            Zen, I am not attacking you, I am trying point out to you, I did not say go away all I said if you that think that killing 5 kittens is ok then you need to understand to kill animals ok is like telling them it is ok to kill humans. Is that what you want? I sure don’t.

          • SweetScarlet

            Don’t even waste your breath. This guy has posted on numerous articles and is an attention seeker. By actually responding, you make him feel better about himself. It’s not worth it. Focus on what you want to say at tonight’s meeting or in your letters and phone calls. Our focus is on the animals, not the backlash.

          • Zen Grouch

            **Focus on what you want to say at tonight’s meeting or in your letters and phone calls.**

            You seem to be someone who is in the know, so maybe you know if “Alley Cat Allies” ever got around to sending that letter to the Mayor.

            If they did, I’ll be they hit him up for a “charitable” donation while they were at it.

            *no sense in wasting a perfectly good stamp*

  • Rob

    Accorti: What a sick, pathetic weak excuse for a so called human being.

    • Debbie Zsigray

      I agree with you

  • Scunnered

    This is shameful for the city of North Ridgeville. This man should be fired immediately and the mayor should take action to ensure this doesn’t happen again. This story made international news because it was so shocking. I had no idea at the time that it had happened in my own hometown.

    • Debbie Zsigray

      You are right this man should be fired immediately and the mayor should take action to ensure this doesn’t happen again. This story made international news because it was so shocking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1762437349 Melissa Merrill Snyder

    I have cats…I’ve fostered cats. Most cats hiss and growl when they are afraid. It’s their way of saying ‘go away, leave me alone’.

    • Debbie Zsigray

      You are right cats will hiss and growl when they are afraid. It’s their way of saying ‘go away, leave me alone’.my young friend has a cat that she got when he was 9 weeks old and he hiss and growl when he are afraid.

    • SweetScarlet

      Heck, I hiss and growl when I’m angry too! ;) Can’t blame the kittens, for sure! But seriously, all animals have defensive mechanisms. That was there way of saying, “back off, I’m scared.” And seriously–this guy most likley has kevlar gloves. Almost all Cops do. He could have put on a jacket to protect his arms if he was THAT scared, put the gloves on, and just pick them up. The kevlar would have protected his hands. He just thought he could get away with it and no one would know. Laziness.

  • Hog Wild

    A quote from Mayor “Boss Hogg” Gillock of North Ridgeville, Ohio:

    “These were not poor helpless kittens,” Gillock said. “They were wild animals the homeowner did not want to mess with as they hissed and growled and spit at him whenever he tried to approach them. They’ll bite and claw.”

    • Hog Wild

      ..(p’tui)…”Yep Mike….them kittens…they was a hissin’ and a spittin’…and I can’t be havin’ that kinda attitude….don’t worry…I put little knives next to their paws so’s I kin claim ‘selve deefenz’…time for supper..(p’tui)’

  • Hog Wild

    This Accorti joker isn’t even a resident…he lives in Wellington

  • Laura W

    Mayor David Gillock must have a degree in medicine, mental health to be exact to have made this observation– Gillock said. “They were not traumatized.”

    PTSD signs and/or symptoms are not displayed right away and can take weeks, months and even years before you actually know how a person has been affected by the action causing the PTSD. Barry Accorti not only left marks with the children in the house but also any child living in that residential area that heard the gun shots as well as any child that has heard of this cowardly act. Children are influenced very easily and for a Humane officer to do something so inhumane can be quite detrimental to an impressionable child. Ask yourself one thing—What have we just taught our children?

  • Mr. pickles

    The two humane officers shoot ground hogs in the city. They shoot them from their trucks with 22 cal rifles. How is this safe? These bullets can travel on paver 1 mile.