Family questions Stow police policy after cat hit by car is shot by officer

STOW, Ohio-- A family is asking for Stow police officials to review some of their policies after they say an officer shot their cat shortly after the animal was hit by a car.

“There’s gotta be a better way than to just shoot your cat and throw it in the trash. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Lynn Maganja, of Stow.

She said she is on vacation and her son is watching her pets. On Monday, her 12-year-old cat Marley got outside by accident and was hit by a car. Marley did not have a collar on at the time.

“I am responsible for him and I know that, and he shouldn’t have been outside,” Maganja said. “But he got out. However, this should not have happened, absolutely no way.”

The cat was struck by a car on McCauley Road Monday evening. People who live there saw the cat and called police for help. One woman told FOX 8 the cat was bleeding and having problems breathing. She said they thought the cat was a stray and said the officer was very compassionate.

According to a Stow police report, the officer shot the cat and then put it in a trash bin near the scene.

“I found out about this because on my Facebook. I saw someone post a picture of a cat that got struck and it looked like Marley,” Maganja said. “I contacted the person who made the post and she said police were called. I called and the officer told me he shot it and put him in the trash bin.”

Maganja said she asked her son to go find Marley.

“The owner’s son had to actually go pull it out of the Dumpster and take him home, I can’t imagine how heartbreaking that was for them,” said Pam Busch, an animal activist, who filed a complaint with Stow police on Wednesday.

Maganja said her son was devastated.

“He said there is a hole through his head,” Maganja said.

Stow Police Chief Jeff Film said it is an unfortunate incident for all involved. He said he will be reviewing the incident and the department’s policy.

Maganja said she would like the department’s policy changed.

“I am not blaming anyone, but I think something else could have been done,” Maganja said. “I would have liked a veterinarian to look at him and decide if he could have been saved or at the very least not have been put in the trash.”