Debbie Montgomery: My cats were shot and killed


To the editor:

When was hunting season open for cats?

I live off County Road 205, and one of my neighbors shot and killed my cats. Not only did they shoot my cats, one was able to make it home after being shot for my children and I to find.

I can't imagine what my cats could have done to deserve being shot to death.

My question to the person who fired the gun, why are you shooting a gun with neighbors so close and with children outside playing?

If I had a dime for every time one of my neighbor's dogs showed up on my property or chased my car as I drove down the county road, I would be rich.

Two weeks before they were shot, I got both of my cats neutered, so thanks to the shooter, that was a waste of money. Whoever shot my cats must not have a heart, and I sincerely believe that what comes around goes around.

Debbie Montgomery



slipknot 8 years, 4 months ago

This oughta get good. I feel for your children in having to witness the uncaring taking of a pet's life in this situation, but I would place the blame squarely on the owner first for being irresponsible and not obeying the County Animal Control Laws and, second you know who shot the animals if only one came home the others are still out there, call the local LEO's let them go look for them.
Chances are Wile E. Coyote has already had his christmas dinner and you're blaming someone unwittingly for nature doing what comes naturally. It has been so long since I was in MoCo that I forget where MoCo 205 is you'll have to refresh me. I lived on MoCo 17 way out and my wife raised barn cats to keep mice down but we also kept the local coyote population well fed it's a fact of life, feed the cats, you feed the skunks, coons, and in course feed the coyotes and bobcats and even lions. Again I feel sorry for your children but keep your rightous indignation in your pocket.


Frank Estey 8 years, 4 months ago

There are laws prohibiting discharge of firearms in close vicinity to houses. This appears to be a serious violation of the law:why didn't you call the law enforcement people when you heard the gun shots in your yard?

Children might have been killed, next time you hear shots so close to your house you need to call the law.


Frank Estey 8 years, 4 months ago

slipknot ,. What a novel way of thinking: looking out for our pets by keeping them out of the mouth of predators. New comers to the West might not know that a Coyote , Fox, Mountain Lion, Skunk and Bob Cat, will take a wandering pet for Food.


redneckgirl 8 years, 4 months ago

Debbie, I'm sorry you lost your pets but how do you know it was your neighbor? How do you know it wasn't a bunch of teenagers out popping rabbits? I know you live out in the county so I'm sure you let your pets run rampant, as did I when I lived in the county. But when my cats got ran over on the highway; I didn't blame the driver that hit them. If you let them run loose, don't blame anybody but yourself for their deaths and/or injuries. Maybe you can get a refund on the neutering since it didn't keep them from straying from home? Maybe it did and the neighbor walked into your yard and shot them? Sometimes my mouth needs toilet paper, I really am sorry that you lost your cats.


Globe 8 years, 4 months ago

It sounds like Ms. Montgomery is jumping to conclusions. How did a house cat get shot and still make it home is what I would like to know. If a gun hit a cat in the torso it would be dead instantly. Even if the loan gunman on the grassy hill shot it with a 22 and winged it, it would have taken the leg clean off and it would have bled to death before it made it home. Sounds like it got a little tore from a predator and made it home and Ms CSI County Road 205 was able to do forensic tests and determine it was a gunshot wound. Which is cool because I am sure she has her Home investigation lab kit where she was able to find gun powerder residue and run balistic tests.

And about you "wasting money" by getting them nuetered just weeks before - Who spends money on a cat? It's a disposable pet, especially if its an outside cat. Everyone who is anyone knows that life expectancy of an outside cat in this area is about six months if you don't have a good barn and help feed the little guys. I am sure your cats have been well digested and returned to the earth that gave them life. This is the cirle of life. We all are born, we live, we get ate by a Coyote. Soon they will help fertilize the grass that a deer will eat. I will shoot that deer next fall and your kitty will end up in my freezer and feed my family. So thankyou for the meal!!


als362 8 years, 4 months ago

Looks to me like the majority of the people think you should either keep your pets at home, or not be surprised when they don't return from where ever they went. And I agree with the majority. The pet laws are on the county books not just to protect other residents, but to protect the pet as well. So, if you get more cats Debbie, keep them at home.


Isis 8 years, 4 months ago

I too am sorry for Debbie's loss. What can be learned from this loss? As others here have said, keep your pets on your property and take the responsibility to keep them safe and healthy. When you choose to become a pet owner the responsibility does not stop at feed, shots, and neutering. I am making the assumption that your pets wandered off of your property and one returned home injured. I too own cats. They have all of the needs above taken care of. In addition, they are de-clawed house cats. They enjoy going outside in my yard that is fully contained with a six foot fence, and are supervised at this time. I live in town. We have a cat problem in our neighborhood. I have several irresponsible neighbors that refuse to take responsibility for their pets. These wandering cats have jumped the fence and attacked my pets. Guess who ends up with the vet bill? Yes, it's me Now on to city code... I am not allowed to build a fence taller than six feet. I am not allowed to hot wire the inside perimeter of my fence. I am not allowed to installed barbed wire on the inside perimeter of my fence. By city code, I have done everything that I legally can to protect my pets on my property. I have tried to talk with these so called neighbors and explain the trouble that their wandering pets create. They do not care. Back to the building inspector..... He says that cats fall under the same enforcement code as dogs. His suggestion was to live trap the invaders and call animal control. Mind you, I once again get to pay for the trap purchased for this use. Hello animal control.... I have a cat in a trap that I need you to pick up and remove to the shelter. Call #1 "You have no business trapping cats and we don't have any room at the shelter. You need to call us before you set the trap in the future.' I called city dispatch and met a police officer at the shelter to take the cat. Once again, my time and expense to transport the animal. Call #2 "I am too busy to come get the cat right now. Bring it to the shelter." This time was a no go and I let the control officer know that it was staying in the trap until she arrived. She arrived 4 hours later and spent a great amount of time trying to convince me that people usually don't do this and I should just let the cat go and talk with the neighbors. I reminded her that the city code applies to cats as well as dogs. Her reply was that they usually don't enforce it. After much discussion (and stubborn resolution on my part) she finally took the cat. What's my point in telling you all of this? My hopes are that you may be able to understand the frustration your neighbors may feel if you allow your pets free roam. While I do not agree with shooting an animal, I do agree that your pets may have wandered into a predator. Please consider constructing a safe enclosure for your pets. This will go a long ways towards preventing the heartache you expressed.


maverick 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry for her loss. Sounds like banjos are playing in the hinterlands of Craig (See Deliverance for a clue on this).


CindyLou 8 years, 4 months ago

I just want everyone to remember one thing ---- "I T I S A C A T!!!!!!!!!!!"


Globe 8 years, 4 months ago

Wow! All of this hubub over something that is just one step up from a prarie dog. For those who didn't read the posts on the prarie dog problem, I would like to make reference to the prarie dog fences that they make to keep PDs out of your property. Please go to that discussion forum and read how PDs are controlled.


craiganimalshelter 8 years, 4 months ago

My comment is directed to ISIS. I'm one of the animal control officers for the city. If I talked to you in such a manner, then you ought to report me to my boss.

However I never talk to anyone in such a rude manner, even when someone might deserve it.

Your comment about you have no business trapping cats. I never told anyone that. The shelter is full? Yes, it probably was and we were unable to take any cats for more time than not from about April until November. That was because the shelter HAD NO MORE ROOM. Anything that might have been brought in would probably be euthanized because there was nowhere to put it.

If a police officer had to meet you at the shelter with a cat in a trap it was because there was no animal control on duty at the time and the shelter was closed. No, the officers do not transport animals in their patrol vehicles. They transport humans and that is why they are not allowed to transport animals unless it is an emergency.

You do not have to spend money on a live trap. We have them available for your use with a deposit of $40 which is returned to you when you return the trap.

You do not need to remind me of the city code, I am well aware that cats fall under the same code as dogs. But catching most cats is just about impossible. A few that I have caught by hand have put me in the ER for treatment of the bites I've gotten, so we only pick them up if they are tame or in a live trap. The live trap is safer for both the cat and us.

If your neighbors cats are bothering you, I would be happy to go speak to them, warn them or cite them on your behalf. That is my job. I have only met one person willing to go any further than a warning in my 5 years at this job. I cannot ID those cats as belonging to your neighbor, but you can and as such you would have to be the one to ask for a citation - signed by you. I know who half the dogs in town belong to, but not the cats, because people rarely even call this type of thing in to me.

to be continued............


craiganimalshelter 8 years, 4 months ago


Animal control IS busy. We have to be on the road and at the shelter. We have 2 hours a day designated at the animal shelter, I spend many more hours out there than that, assisting people who are picking up their pets, adoptions, pet exercise, answering the phone, returning phone calls, assisting walk-ins. A cat in a trap call is going to wait until I have finished assisting someone at the shelter (and that can be many someones) or another call that I may be on. That cat isn't going anywhere. I might have asked her to bring the cat to the shelter, but I didn't refuse to pick it up. I may have asked her to let it go if we didn't have any room at the shelter but I don't know who she is and I don't recall the conversation she is talking about.

However - I spent hours and hours on the phone talking to people with the same problem with stray cats,with litters of cats to turn in to the shelter (some of them their own), fighting cats, feral cats, etc. I sometimes talked to 8-10 people a day with the same problem. So I may have forgotten her. If I sounded rude, it was not rudeness, it was frustration. If people would just spay and neuter their animals, none of this would be happening. Our shelter has about 12 cages available, we've had up to 22 cats and kittens in there at one time. A lot of times.

But like some of you said - they are just cats. It is obvious that too many people think they are just throw-away animals and don't bother to spay/neuter, vaccinate or even care for them. Just let them roam, who cares. Except it causes the shelter to be overflowing, to cost tax dollars to care for them, and for some to be euthanized because there is no room or they're just too unsocialized to be put up for adoption. It is not fun to euthanize anything, trust me. Humane or not.

As of November I think 8 cats have been returned to their owners that were brought into the shelter. I believe we had about 200-250 cats go through so far this year. I am not at my office, so I am not positive on the number total, but that's about right. And that's not counting the feral cats brought to me or picked up, they are euthanized immediately.

I would invite ISIS or anyone interested to come down and do a ride-along with me some day. Maybe you can understand what this job is all about. I love my job but it can be very frustrating too. So if I WAS rude, I really didn't mean to be. I am sure you were only hearing my frustration at "more cats".

And by the way, I work for the police department also if anyone needs to reach animal control.

I apologize for the length of this.

thank you. Kathie


Isis 8 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Kathy.

I appreciate a greater understanding of what your job entails. It sounds as if we are both frustrated with the lack of owner responsibility.

My original post was not intended to paint you or any other animal control officer in a bad light. If my poor choice of words has caused offense, I sincerely apologize. My intent was to paint a clear picture of a neighbor's frustration due to roaming animals. I had hoped to present a balanced view that the "roaming owners" would consider, and possibly change their actions. You have helped to paint this picture and I thank you.

I agree that spaying/neutering goes a long way towards the prevention of over population. I still feel that the responsibility does not stop there. Owners are responsible for keeping their pets under their control on their property. As a city resident, I believe the city is responsible for assistance in this responsibility.

Now my question for you is: What do we do TOGETHER to get this under control? Do we ask the city for more animal control officers? Do we ask for an animal code change? Do we ask for a building code change? I don't agree with the Wild West justice system that has been mentioned on this site, even in jest.

My pets are adoptions from the local shelter. It is not cheap to adopt a pet. My personal choice was to adopt cats that I knew others would not want because they were not picture perfect. I willingly picked these pets because I knew they wouldn't have a chance otherwise. Yes, my vet bills are higher because of this choice, but I feel the little guys are worth it. :-)

Does any one else here have a reasonable idea how to tackle the problem? It sounds like animal control could use a hand as well as the residents.


kerrya 8 years, 4 months ago

To Debbie, I am sorry for the loss of a loved pet. I too, have kids and pets and it would be terrible if that happened to us. Now, for all the others - yes, it is just a CAT but it is a PET! One that is undoubtedly loved by it's owners. To say that it is a disposable pet and one step up from a prairie dog is dispicable. Try to tell that to a teary-eyed child as they watch their pet die. I have a cat and and I also have a fence but - HELLO! - have any of you ever tried to keep a cat inside a fence? Even a neutered and declawed one will get out of any fence if it wants to. Yep, you're right that there is a cat problem in the city because of irresponsible owners - I have had to have my (nuetered) cat at the vet a few times to treat infection and wounds because of other cats that get into my yard - but we also have a deer problem in the city and we all know what has been done about that! I have nothing against our animal control - I think they do what they can but we should all be responsible pet owners and have our pets spayed and nuetered (now I sound like Bob Barker!) No one, absolutely no one, has the right to shoot at an animal that does not belong to them and is not harming anyone. Oh, and about the comment that an outside cat has the life expectancy of 6 months? My cat is an outside cat (by his choice, not mine) and has lived to the ripe old age of almost 4 years! And his favorite thing to do is help control the overpopulation of squirrels! HAPPY NEW YEAR!


lostyermarbles 8 years, 3 months ago

I too have had a neighbor that shot my cat for something it supposedly did but they didnt shoot their cat. As far as the "get your dog's off my land", I too have the dog problem, they come over, chase my cat's, then the cat's , chickens etc. This from the neighbor who shot the cat. So the cat's wont go outside to potty. KEEP YOUR DOG'S CONTAINED!!! Why are they 'over there?' It isnt everyone else's job to have your dog entertained at our house peeing on everything. If you cant give them enough attention and they run all over and you can't keep them home, get rid of them.. They are a nuisance to the rest of us who do keep our's good. And I get tired of the unnuetered cat's over picking fights on the deck with our nuetered cat's spraying my pellet bag's, house etc.. And are they vaccinated?? Be responsible and it will solve all these problems. It's as easy as that. Period.


breeze_n_life 8 years, 3 months ago

Kathie and staff, You are doing an awesome job! Keep up the great work! Sabrina B.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.