Derry Walmart employees found a cat abandoned in a shopping cart, now police are looking for the owner. (Courtesy)
Unidentified woman enters Walmart to retrieve a cart. (Courtesy)
The woman returns to the store with a box in the cart that was found to hold a cat. (Courtesy)
The cat was in such poor health, according to the veterinarian who examined it, that it had to be put down. (Courtesy)
The woman drives off in a dark sedan. (Courtesy)
DERRY - Local police are asking the public’s help identifying a woman who appears to have abandoned a cat in a shopping cart at Walmart last month.
The animal was in such poor health that it had to be euthanized, according to authorities.
Police on Monday said they reviewed store surveillance video and spotted a dark sedan pulling into a handicap parking spot in front of the store about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, June 8. A middle-age woman with reddish hair got out, retrieved a shopping cart from inside the store and returned to the car. There she removed a cardboard box from the car and placed it in the shopping cart, which was then pushed back into the store.
The woman left the store and drove off, a few minutes later store employees discovered the cat.
“The animal appeared to be malnourished and poorly groomed,” a police statement said. “Due to its condition the cat was taken to an emergency veterinarian. The animal was determined to be in such poor health that it needed to be humanely euthanized.”
Police are investigating this matter for animal cruelty, a crime that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail for a first offense or up to seven years in jail for a second offense.
“You have a duty of care to an animal just as you do to a child,” said Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas.
“It’s hard to say the animal was abused,” he said. “It clearly wasn’t taken care of very well. You don’t know what the (financial) means of the individual was who had the cat.”
Timothy Proctor, support manager at the Walmart, said it was 'very cruel' for someone to treat an animal so.
“I think they should be charged with animal cruelty or something,” he said.
Police released photos of the cat as well as the woman and car, anyone with information can call Derry police at 432-6111.