Man admits killing stray cat with shotgun
August 6, 2012
A 54-year-old Indian Hills man faces up to four years in Nevada State Prison after he pleaded guilty Monday to shooting a feral cat under his front porch with a shotgun.
Rodney Shoop pleaded guilty to torturing or injuring an animal.
In exchange for his guilty plea, the state has agreed to recommend 36 months, suspended, and no active jail time.
The maximum is four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
In exchange for Shoop’s plea, the state dropped a charge of ex-felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, Shoop was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on Dec. 2, 1987 in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
After shooting the cat, Shoop is accused of dismembering the animal and tossing its head over a neighbor’s fence.
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Attorney Tod Young said Shoop agreed to the plea to have the ex-felon charge dropped.
“This is an animal that had taken up residence under Mr. Shoop’s house,” Young said. “He shot it. After the cat was dead, he then mutilated the cat. It was not done in any form of torture. The cat died rather quickly as a result of the shotgun.”
Young said the stray was annoying Shoop’s cat, and had caused veterinary bills.
“The idea of shooting and mutilating a cat is repugnant to anyone,” said District Judge Michael Gibbons. “The court takes a dim view if the circumstances are anywhere near what is reported.”
Despite the plea agreement, it’s up to the judge to decide sentencing.
The incident took place Feb. 16 at Shoop’s residence in the 3400 block of Tourmaline Drive.
Deputies were called to the residence at 11 p.m. by a neighbor who said he heard Shoop yelling and said the suspect was possibly chopping up an animal with an ax.
“It was a feral cat that had taken up residence under my porch,” Shoop said. “I got a gun and shot it.”
He explained the stray had hurt his cat resulting in veterinary bills.
“I love my cat very much,” Shoop said in court Monday. “My cat sleeps on my bed.”
Gibbons asked if Shoop had considered alternative measures of dealing with the stray.
Young answered the judge by saying a psychiatric profile of his client as well as brain imaging would be introduced at sentencing Sept. 24.
Gibbons forbid Shoop, who is out on bail, from having any weapons. Shoop said he did not own the gun that was used to kill the cat. It is in Douglas County Sheriff’s Office evidence.