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June 14, 2013
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Farewell to Sammy the cat

Sammy the cat is no more. The Topaz Ranch Estates feline, who owner John Flaherty said has appeared in The RC seven times over the years, and at least that many times on KOLO Channel 2, was attacked and killed by two stray pitbulls on Monday in front of John, his wife, and two granddaughters. Sammy was 13.

John said the dogs managed to nose the gate open and attack the cat in his own yard.

“He died in my arms on the way to the vet,” John said. “He put his paw on my face and looked at me as if to say why? He put his head on my hand and died. We are all heartbroken — traumatized — especially the grandkids.”

On Tuesday, John was preparing a grave for Sammy’s burial, when the dogs showed up again, and went right to where Sammy’s in a box.

John lured them into his truck cab with a bottle of water and called the Animal Shelter, who picked them up.

“People don’t realize the pain they cause others when they let their dogs get loose,” John said.

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John sent me a picture of the dogs, and they’re clearly some mixture of pit. I know a lot of people who feel the breed is unfairly labeled as being vicious.

But no matter what the breed, dogs running loose is a public health hazard.

They cost money to round up, and they clog up the justice court calendar with disputes.

Having a pet is great. They provide us with comfort and companionship.

They help us teach our children about caring for another living thing, lessons they’ll use with their own children.

That’s why it hits so hard when we lose a pet, especially through someone else’s negligence.

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On a lighter note, the Miss Nevada pageant is this weekend and we like the chances for a Douglas County win.

Of course Miss Baily Gumm is a great contestant, but of the 11 participants in Mequite this weekend, there are two other Carson Valley residents in the running.

They include Miss Reno, Minden resident, Suthida “Bo” Khongkhatitham, and Miss Sparks, Gardnerville resident Valerie Padovani. Suthida was a 2011 graduate of Douglas High School, and participated in that year’s Miss Douglas County pageant. Valerie performed in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at or 782-5121, ext. 215.

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The Record Courier Updated Jun 14, 2013 09:43AM Published Jun 14, 2013 09:42AM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.