Oconee County Animal Control on Thursday of last week cited Douglas Lanier Orr, 69, 1430 Broadlands Drive, east of Watkinsville, for the misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty, according to the incident report released by the county early today.
The citation results from an investigation on Tuesday during which Animal Control found five cats in a trash container at the front of Orr’s house in Broadlands subdivision, off Simonton Bridge Road, according to the incident report.
Animal Control Officer Nick Hensley responded to a call at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday from Jennifer Bond, co-owner of Curbside Services, who reported that one of her drivers found an injured cat in a trash can.
Upon investigation, Hensley discovered that four dead cats also were in the trash container, according to the report.
The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office had released its incident on the report on Friday of last week, but the county did not release the report from the Animal Control Department documenting the citation until today.
The incident report states that Hensley found one cat still alive when he reached the residence, but that the cat was badly injured.
Hensley said he “witnessed a physically struggling, injured, mangled, black cat, within the container.” Hensley reported that “the cat was breathing and legs were moving.”
According to the report, Hensley went to the front door of the Orr home and spoke with the wife of Orr, who said her husband would meet Hensley at the trash container.
Hensley said when Orr arrived at the container Hensley asked Orr what happened to the cat.
"The cat got in the way of my bullet! I shot three cats today,” Hensley quoted Orr as saying.
Injured Cat Taken
According to the report, Orr then grabbed the injured cat by its rear legs and tossed it into his truck and drove to the rear of his 7.3-acre lot.
“The cat was still alive when Orr lifted it out of the trash can and attempted to scratch him,” Hensley wrote in the report.
Hensley said he called the Sheriff’s Office for assistance and a minimum of six vehicles arrived.
“I clearly overheard Orr tell deputies he put the removed black cat that was still alive in a stump hole on his property,” Orr wrote in his report.
Dead Cats Discovered
Hensley wrote that he then discovered four deceased cats “with bullet wounds” tucked inside two horse feed bags in the trash container.
Although the Sheriff’s Office report indicated that Orr had told them he shot the cats because “they were killing his chickens,” Hensley’s report contains a different version of the reason Orr shot the cats.
“I'm tired of buying cat food,” Hensley quotes Orr as saying.
Hensley said Orr said he had just bought two bags of cat food and had posted three ads on Craigslist for free cats but had not found anyone interested in the cats.
Hensley said that he saw a minimum of eight cats, cat food and water bowls on the front porch of the home and estimated that a minimum of 20 cats were on the property when he left.
No Warrant Sought
Hensley indicated that he asked the Sheriff deputies to arrest Orr and that they refused, telling Hensley that he also could go before a judge and get a warrant for Orr’s arrest.
The county animal control ordinance incorporates the state’s definition of cruelty to animals.
In addition to the misdemeanor charge filed against Orr, the county has the ability to file a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.
A person so charged might be arrested and brought before a judge for arraignment on the charge. Persons usually are not arrested on misdemeanor charges.
The county ordinance also requires proper disposal of dead animals by burning, incineration, burial, rendering or “any method using appropriate disposal technology” approved by the state Department of Agriculture.
The county ordinance also makes it a violation to “fail to immediately notify” the owner of a domestic animal, the county, or an appropriate law enforcement agency when a domestic animal has been injured.
Court Date And Documents
Orr’s court date is Feb. 12 before Magistrate Court Judge Eric Norris.
The incident report released by the county today is HERE. It contains pictures of the injured and killed cats.
The incident report released by the Sheriff’s Office on Friday is HERE.
The recording of the call to the Sheriff’s Office is HERE.