They’re normally used as hood ornaments on luxury cars, but perhaps the driver with a cat tied to the front of her car took things too far. An elderly woman was seen driving her SUV in Ohio Monday with what looked like a live feline attached to the hood. Photos of the leashed cat on top of the vehicle ignited cries of animal abuse — and for good reason, citing a Daily Mail report on the alleged cruelty case.
Polly Vandall of New Philadelphia was one of many travelers and locals in the Ohio town to witness the outlandish scene that took many by surprise. At first glance, one has to wonder if the sight of a cat leashed to the front of a passenger car is a prank or part of a live scene from a film production on location. Either way, it’s enough to make you do a double-take.
“Immediately, I was thinking, ‘How in the world did that cat get on there?’ I don’t believe she drives around town with a cat on, you know? I thought there’s probably a really good story behind this.”
Photos of the hapless animal harnessed to the hood of the moving vehicle went viral, and many quips followed. One such comment compared the scene to Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer pulling the woman’s sleigh. Another poked fun at how the kitty looked like a makeshift GPS device.
However, cops didn’t think it was a laughing matter; they want to talk to the motorist because they believe the cat seen tied atop the car is in danger. Callers begin flooding 911 operators with complaints of the cat sighting in Ohio, and Police Chief Michael Goodwin put his team of investigators on the matter immediately.
“There was a lot of outrage that wanted these people hunted down, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and should never own a pet. It was pretty ugly on that end. I wish someone got a picture of the license plate. We could follow up very quickly. It’s a very bizarre case, unclear if it would violate any animal cruelty laws. It’s the public safety of main concern to me. I’ve never seen anything like it in 25 years on the job.
“It’s definitely strange. Part of my concern was the cat was on a leash and he may have been secured, but if there had been a sudden stop or an impact or something the cat could very easily have fell [sic] off the hood of the car and under the wheel of the car.”
As shocking as the photos are of the cat tied to the front of the car, police and a county Humane Society spokesperson admitted it may be difficult to prove the person had malice and intended to abuse the animal. Nonetheless, it’s important to determine the welfare of the furry feline. Even the woman who posted the disturbing images said she is withholding judgment. She thinks it’s important to get the facts first
“I feel judging her is not my place, you know? I feel like a cat’s place is not on the hood of a car,” Vandall said.
Many agree it’s important to determine why anyone would be driving around with a cat tied to the front of their car. One has to wonder about the mental state of such a person or if they were impaired at the time. Nonetheless, many hope there are no copycats (no pun intended) as a result of this developing story.
[Photo by: Facebook via NBC News]