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