For years a North Ridgeville, Ohio animal control officer has garnered unfavorable and at times disturbing headlines for a number of alleged animal cruelty incidents. On Wednesday, Animal Control Officer Barry Accorti was fired after he smashed the skulls of baby bunnies. According to a statement from the North Ridgeville Police Department, Accorti was fired for “performance issues.”
Accorti’s latest disturbing incident involved a local resident, Sheldon Jones, who found several baby rabbits while mowing the lawn. Not knowing what to do with the little ones, the man called local authorities who notified Accorti. According to Fox News, Jones, who thought the rabbits would be placed and eventually freed from a wildlife rescue, was shocked when the animal control officer began to smash their tiny heads against the tailgate of his truck:
“When the officer got out here, he took the rabbits,” Jones said. “We didn’t exchange very many words. And he went over to the bed of his truck at the end of the driveway and smashed their necks on the bed of his truck. He never asked me if we wanted to keep them because had he asked I would have said yes,” Jones said. “I had no idea he was going to kill them. He never told me that.”
This, however was not the first time Accorti has been accused of cruelty. In June 2013, a local mom found a litter of feral kittens in the woodpile behind her home. As a responsible citizen, she called the local Animal Control for help. When Accorti arrived, he told the woman the shelters were full and pulled out his gun and shot the kittens – right in front of little children who screamed in fright and shock; Accorti telling them the kittens were “going to kitty heaven.”Even though there was an investigation and an outpouring of community disgust towards the death of the five kittens and the circumstances with the children, the police chief told people to move along and that there was nothing to see.
And just one year later – the same officer shot another helpless animal; again in front of children. In a report by the Chronicle, another disturbing incident took place in June 2014. A baby raccoon captured inside of a cage was shot twice by Accorti in front of three children:
“This is the second time in a year,” Michelle Kearsey, a local resident, said as she cited the need for a change in policies governing the handling of nuisance animal calls. “That raccoon could have been moved. This officer has shown no regard for the children of this community. People are tired of it. That animal was defenseless and in a cage. It’s like the kittens.”
In the police department’s statement on Wednesday, the organization followed up the announcement of Accorti’s termination with the following explanation:
“There should have been better communication and understanding of perception and sensitivity as well as following established protocol.”
Smith wants animal cruelty charges pressed against Accorti.
(Photo of kittens and baby bunnies via screenshots from Fox News and the Chronicle)
Rest in peace innocent baby animals never allowed to grow up.
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