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Police officer reprimanded for destroying documents on wandering cat in Hyogo


An officer at a police station in Hyogo Prefecture was reprimanded by his superiors earlier this year for instructing officers to dispose of a document relating to a cat handed in at a police box, it was learned Tuesday.

A 9-year-old boy found a cat on a street on April 8 and took it to a police box, where it was kept briefly before officers were instructed to let it go, and to dispose of the documentation. The owner of the cat filed a report with police the next day concerning the missing pet, and the owner became distressed after learning that the police had let it go. Police made a poster appealing for information on the missing cat, but it was never found.

The officer said he thought the cat would end up being put down in an animal shelter, and instructed the officers at the police box to return it to the area where it was found, as the cat would likely return to its owner’s home. The officer’s superiors said that while his gesture was one of kindness, destroying official documents was not acceptable, and the officer was reprimanded.

If the owner’s name is on the animal’s collar or the owner can otherwise be identified, police are required to hold it for three months, as with other possessions handed in. The cat in this case was wearing a collar but the owner could not be identified, police said.

© News reports

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Japan's finest.

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J-keystones keeping your area free from gaijin riding on stolen bikes and full of stray cats since 1865.

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At least someone didn't get fatally stabbed or seriously hurt as a result...

I guess they don't have any such "Humane Society" in Japan, where their sole job is to take care of these kinds of things...?

Oh, well, at least no one got killed as a result... If this is was the worst form of incompetence the J-Clown-Cops ever showed, Japan would be a Utopia.

I'd rather read about 100,000 more incidents like this, than one more, where a J-Cop failed to take proper action and 4 more innocent people get stabbed, because the J-Cop failed to use lethal force, when it was required. As we've seen a couple years ago...

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If the owner’s name is on the animal’s collar or the owner can otherwise be identified, police are required to hold it for three months

If the owner can be identified, wouldn't it be sensible to contact the owner instead of spending taxpayers' money on three months' worth of cat food? When my daughter's stolen bike was found they were able to contact us so we could go and pick it up.

Get your animals microchipped, people.

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You could blame policeman for failing to follow procedure.

Also I hate to blame the owner, but micro-chipping your pet would have saved all this hassle. Just a quick scan either at a police station or a local vet would have turned up the owner's name, address and telephone number.

Then again, the laxity of the owner is just part of a bigger problem. The ratio of pets (cats and dogs) that are registered with local authorities and receive vaccinations in accordance with the law is a disgrace in this country.

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Even out here in the sticks of rural Tochigi, all vets, police stations and animal 'welfare' (=disposal) centres are obliged to have a microchip reader. Seven months ago the Animal ID Promotion Organization started offering a 2000 yen gift coupon to the first 1000 people in Tochigi applying to have their animals microchipped; this week my vet tells me the number is nowhere near 1000 yet and I'll probably still be eligible for the discount at the end of the year when our new baby will be old enough for microchipping.

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J cop letting a pussy go? Unheard of!

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New baby? Hey Cleo did you get a new dog to replace the recently-departed Dobbie?

Our local vet's association (out here in rural Tokyo - lol) also held a similar event last year in conjunction with the local government. They even offered free micro-chipping and registration of dogs. Despite the opportunity, however, they only managed to do about 30 dogs for the day?

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I picked up an inured crow and got no results at the police box, but they did try.

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So what's the point of this article? is it implying that the police officer could've reunited the cat with its owner while following procedure?

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daft cops, this summer I almost hit a dog that ran in front of my car, was behaving weird(turned out he was deaf) almost got hit twice more right in front of me so we scooped him up & took him home, had a collar but no id........

made a poster went to the train stn but they wudnt let me out it up, had to get permission from city hall, went to the koban abiut 5times never anybody home, when I was out walking my dog & our new friend the owners who were driving round the rice fields looking found us so it was a happay ending about 5days after I took him home, but what a chore trying to get word out.

Told the owners to put at least a name/number on the collar then it wud be easy to make contact, but a week later when I went to their house to give htem pictures of their pooch they still hadnt put a tag on the collar.

Sorry for rambling but most dogs/cats etc have horrible lives in this country, few register pets, few get their shots, few owners give a damn

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timorborder -

Nothing and no one will ever replace the Dobie. Not even another Dobie.:-(

We adopted a 3-month-old Shiba-ken from a lady who was trying and failing to cope with a job, a sick elderly mother, a toddler and the pup. I'm glad she put him up for adoption instead of just dumping him at the pound, like so many do.

It amazes me how much money some people are prepared to spend on fancy collars and ID tags that can so easily come off, not to mention doggie clothes that serve no purpose whatsoever, but won't fork out a few thousand for a microchip that might save their animal from a slow, agonising and gruesome death in a CO2 chamber. Or even, apparently, get one for free.

neojamal -

So what's the point of this article? is it implying that the police officer could've reunited the cat with its owner while following procedure?

The point of the article is that documentation must always be prepared fully, in triplicate, so that it can be filed away for ever and gather dust, and once filed must never, ever be destroyed.

It might have been best for the officer to hand the cat over to an adoption agency (there are plenty of them around) but letting it go was definitely preferable to sending it to senseless and horrible 'disposal' at the local pound. Documentation or no documentation. He could have just said the cat escaped.

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Poor homeless kitty.

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whoa intense police drama! definitely needs to be lifted to the script writers of law and order. damn, to be a police officer in japan. when do they ever get a rest from the excitement!?

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Hilarious! So the J-cops are responsible for stray cats too? Extremely amusing!

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Pretty sad and not so surprising with J-Cops....but you do have this foundation which is trying hard with little support: Ark Bark Animal Refuge Kansai and Kanto- http://www.arkbark.net/e/index.htm

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When you are all finished having a go at the Japanese police go back and re-read the story. This particular policeman did what he believed was best for the cat and probably came close to getting it right. Cats wander and normally do just go home. If this policeman had sent it to be destroyed we would all be saying what a heartless rat he was. It had a collar with no identifying details on it, so the real responsibility falls to the owner. As for destroying the paperwork, well, I can see myself doing exactly the same thing. As I am sure most of you would have done if you were being honest rather than having fun attacking the police.

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Sorry, can't resist this:

"Car 54, where are you..."

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did what he believed was best for the cat

Yeah, but he didn't follow procedure and destroyed documents. You don't destroy paperwork in Japan especially, everybody has to stamp it and then the OLs have to file it. If the cops aren't following procedure it's a problem. And if you worked for me right about now I'd be contemplating a replacement. This is how product recalls occur.

At least they haven't lost the paperwork for the Hawker case. Could you imagine the uproar if that paperwork got shredded?

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Sorry to hear about your Dobie, Cleo.

It does seem daft that an omawarisan would want potentially to add to the stray cat population....

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I had to pay two-months rent for having a perfectly behaved (always lived in apts) cat. Ouch! Just complaining after having spent the day standing on the taifun befuddled trains.

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Tosaken, on the button.

Destroying the paperwork was wrong from the authorities' point of view, but it very nearly worked, and I might have done the same thing too. (Unluckily the real owner turned up at the police box and that upset the litterbox.)

The article is probably trying to show an example of yet another policeman not following correct procedure.

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3 months? Here in the US the human society will keep a cat for 1 week and on to cat heaven it goes.

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