Police officer in trouble after removing cat from alleged drug user's home

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A Canadian police officer's move to save a cat from its alleged drug using owner landed the officer in trouble. (KTRK)

A Canadian police officer's move to save a cat from its alleged drug using owner has landed the officer in trouble.

Durham Police Constable Beth Richardson will face a disciplinary tribunal after she took a cat from the woman's home following a 911 call.

Richardson, an animal lover, responded, finding the woman in distress, CTV reports.

"Apparently, she was hurling things around, making threatening utterances, just high as a kite," Richardson's attorney Joseph Markson said.

Markson says as Durham police took care of the woman, who they say had been on a three-day crystal meth binge, Richardson spotted a kitten also in distress.

"(The kitten looked) just ragged, it was really thin, very small, filthy smelled like smoke, running eyes and scared out of it wits, and no one around the kitten to take care of it," Markson said.

So she took the kitten to get it checked by a vet. But when the owner's boyfriend returned to the rooming house, he called police to say the officer had stolen the kitten.

Durham's police chief laid a discreditable conduct charge against Richardson.

The charge reads, in part, "Constable Richardson did not advise her supervisor or any other officers that she had taken the cat from the owners nor did she document her actions."

Richardson's lawyer says she did what she thought was right.

"The decision she made that she made in rescuing the kitten is at the heart of good policing," Markson said.

Richardson's supervisors ordered the kitten be returned that night.

Editorial Note: A previous version of this story included a gallery with mugshots that may have been improperly credited to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office or improperly identified offenders as methamphetamine users. The gallery has been removed.
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