(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Millcreek Township has placed its animal enforcement officer on administrative leave following public outcry regarding a cat that was euthanized.

The decision was effective as of Aug. 9, a township announcement said on Aug. 11.

Reportedly, the cat, named Berkeley, was shot and killed by the animal control officer who then threw the cat into a dumpster.

The Millcreek Township released a statement on Aug. 5 essentially defending the officer’s actions. The statement said the “stray cat” was “host to several parasites.”

“Employing standard industry precautions that are specifically designed to mitigate the spread of animal borne illnesses, the officer used a catch pole to remove the cat from the home. The cat reacted aggressively and risked the safety of all parties involved,” the statement had said. “Out of an abundance of caution, the cat was euthanized in accordance with Pennsylvania’s Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law, specifically out of an interest to public safety and because of the potential for the community spread of rabies and other animal borne diseases.”

According to neighbors, the cat did not have parasites and was friendly. A Millcreek neighbor found the cat and had taken it in as her own, so neighbors have disagreed with the characterization that the cat was a “stray.”

On Aug. 9, the Millcreek Township Supervisors meeting was standing-room only with neighbors who were there to speak about the treatment of Berkeley the cat. The majority of those in attendance presented solutions such as firing the officer, or offering the proper training needed to care for pets whether they are domesticated or feral.

After the initial incident, Supervisor Kim Clear told JET 24/FOX 66 that an internal investigation will incorporate different perspectives surrounding the case.

“We are going to be interviewing the parties that were involved in the incident, the caller who did make the call to animal enforcement to come and get the animal. We are going to to be speaking to our animal enforcement officer as well as the Humane Society, the ANNA Shelter,” said Kim Clear, Millcreek Township Supervisor.

Millcreek Police Department will continue to address animal control calls during the investigation, an announcement from Millcreek Township said on Aug. 11. Anybody with additional information about the incident can contact the police department at (814) 833-7777.

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According to the township, the next supervisor meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 23.