This is sort of a long story, so please bear with me.

The short version:
In mid August, at a Menard's store in Marshfield, Wisconsin (pop: 20,000), a wounded kitten was bludgeoned to death by a store employee at the direction of his manager, a man named Dave Hoak.
The police have done nothing except say that in future situations, the ordinance officers should be called. The local news herald took a month to publish anything at all about this horrible situation and didn't offer anything better.
The long version:
"In mid August 2004, a store patron saw a bleeding cat lying in the parking lot at Menards. This person reported to teh service desk that a cat was in the parking lot, obviously injured. She asked that help be sought for the frightened animal, and expressed her concern for it. The store manager was contacted and directed two young male employees to take a lawn edger out to the parking lot and beat the cat to death. The young men did what they were told to do by their manager. This extremely violent act was witnessed by other store patrons moving through the parking lot. One of these patrons went to the same service desk to report what was happening to the cat and was told that they were aware of what was going on outside.

A local veterinary office was called about the incident, as was the local police department. A third person called the manager at Menards to question him about the incident. The caller was told it was, "just like hunting, sir." At this time, the manager is still employed by Menards." This from the only eyewitness to come forward.
This is the news herald article that attempts to cover what happened. The author's contact info is available at the bottom of the screen. http://www.wisinfo.com/newsherald/mnhlocal/281452133135965.shtml

My sister is the "friend" at Marshfield Veterinary Service. Her response to his article follows. It is abridged slightly to keep to the topic at hand: "Mr. Gneiser,
I am deeply disappointed in your article regarding the death of the kitten in Menard's parking lot. I'm afraid that from the very beginning of your article, there are obvious problems with this story.

First, you did not mention that this animal was a kitten and lead readers to believe that it was an adult cat.Second, you state repeatedly that this animal was "critically injured". I would like to know who is qualified to make that judgment. Are the employees at Menard's trained in veterinary medicine? After working over 5 years in the field of veterinary medicine, I have learned a few things about injury and trauma. Shock can often set in and cause the animal to go into a coma-like state. With treatment, shock can often be overcome, and depending on the extent of other injuries, many animals can recover.

I guess we will never know the state of that animal because the employee took it upon himself to make that call. The police can make no judgment on the extent of the injury because no one in their department has even seen the animal, even though they keep saying it was "critically injured". Perhaps you should seek the opinion of a veterinarian to include in any future stories like this.

Third, you do not mention that what the eye witness, Mrs. Albers, saw varies from the account given to the police by the Menard's employee. According to her, the kitten was struck repeatedly and was flailing it's legs and tail during the beating. I have a hard time believing this to be "mercy".
Finally, I find some of the comments made by Joe Stroik to be disturbing at best. Whether the employee did or did not know about ordinance control is beside the point. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for inappropriate behavior. The question over whether the kitten was stray or not should have nothing to do with how the animal was treated. Are not all the animals found running at large considered stray until they are claimed by an owner? The fact that no owner has come forward now, a month later, has nothing to do with how that kitten was treated on that day, at that time.

They were not and could not have been certain that it was a stray at the time that it was killed. Whether the kitten would have been euthanized after being collected by ordinance control is an assumption - again - of the animal being "critically injured", we have no proof of that being so.

I certainly hope that you will print a follow-up story correcting the false impression you have left on the public that this was a minor issue being questioned by a group of crazy animal lovers and that no real crime has been committed. I also hope that you include the ridiculous and unprofessional response by Ray at Menard's headquarters when my friend Gina Knetter informed him of this act being committed."
Ray's response, by the way, was, "This is total bull."

Ray can be reached at (Email Removed) or 1-800-menards.
The chief of police quoted in the article above was spoken to by the eye witness and informed of many things of which he was unaware... due to the ineptitude of the officer on the scene. The eye witness writes, "I did talk with cheif Stroik today. We actually had a nice talk about it all. I voiced my concerns about the fact that there didn't seem to be an official report and that there were some misrepresentations in the newspaper article. For one, the kitten was not beaten to death - it was pinned to the ground with a lawn edger on its neck.

My husband saw the final "push", I couldn't see anymore because my eyes were so filled with tears! Cheif Stroik had me email him my letter to the press and also describe in detail what I saw & how officer Rice handled the situation. He was actually surprised at what I had to say - Officer Rice never put my name in the report and also she didn't file it right away either. I think that after talking with me & once he reads all the facts I typed for him, he will have a different view on the whole situation.

I did ask him if he tried to get the surveillance tapes for the parking lot (which I am sure Menards would have or DID have). He said no, but he would look into it. cross your fingers!"

The local news has been informed of the incident, and it sounds as though the local CBS affiliate will be running a story on it sometime this next week. After that airs (if it does, let's hope so), there may be more public outcry, but we can always use a few extra phone calls or e-mails to let Menards know that such things are not acceptable and ARE in fact, a violation of law (my sister has contacted the animal legal defense fund and they've verified that it was illegal).
For those of you that have waded through all of this, thank you for your time.
For those of you that call or write to express your anger and disgust, thank you VERY much.
~K
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This is sort of a long story, so please bear with me.

I invite you all to contact Menards:
http://www.menards.com/menards?mm dest=%2Fcontactus.jsp

I have, I assure you.
I invite you all to contact Menards: http://www.menards.com/menards?mm dest=%2Fcontactus.jsp I have, I assure you.

Thank you, so have I. I am appalled by the whole thing. I let them know I am up here in Canada, and the story is making the rounds here!
"In mid August 2004, a store patron saw a bleeding cat lying in theparking lot at Menards. This person reported ... parking lot, obviously injured. She asked that help be sought for the frightened animal, and expressed her concern for it.

..so she was concerned about the animal, but since she didn't want to do anything herself, tried to make someone else do something then complains about the result? All could have been avoided if she had taken the kitten to the vet herself. But then that would have cost money and her shopping would have been interrupted I guess. Phooey on people like this.

buglady
take out the dog before replying
K,
This message brought tears to my eyes. WHAT A DESPICABLE THING. Dave Hoak, you should be ashamed of yourself!!! Kalyahna, should consider a boycott of this establishment, possibly even organize a demonstration in front of his business. This should get you more media coverage. Make signs and post them around your community, announcing this man's unconscionable behavior!
Kalyahna, I recommend that you document your charges and contact P.E.T.A. http://www.peta.org /
or your state ASPCA.
http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?JServSessionIdr005=v35pcpedm1.app28b

graphics
Thanks for the link, I too have expressed by horror and disgust at the incident.
Hugs,
CatNipped
"
/nq]
This is sort of a long story, so please bear with me. The short version: In mid August, at a ... took a month to publish anything at all about this horrible situation and didn't offer anything better. The long version:

I sent this entire post to the e-mail address given in the article for Menards. The following is the entire text, with no changes, deletions or additions, that I received from Menards. I sent my e-mail today, September 17, 2004 and received the reply within hours.

In the interest of fairness, I will not post any personal comments with this particular post. The reply from Menards stands by itself.

Full, unabriged reply from Menards, only the header showing my e-mail address has been removed:

All of us here at Menards are deeply saddened by this event. Many of us own and we all love animals. We are in the process of determining what disciplines and terminations should occur as a result of this and how to implement procedures to prevent this from happening in the future. In my many, many years as an employee of Menards, I have never ever heard of a similar occurrence and I hope to never hear of another.
Thank you, Ray
Like almost all of us, I was sickened at this story. It will be interesting to see if there are any legal prosecutions or employee actions taken because of this incident.
Also, when you are considering making a purchase at Menards, don't forget the series of arrests that were attributed to Menards a few years ago. These were for the horrible crime of shoplifting a few pennies worth of products, literally pennies.
One "theft" was when a physician purchased a bolt and nut together. The clerk failed to charge him for the nut and only charged for the bolt. It was around 35 cents. Although the clerk made the mistake of not charging for the attached nut, the doctor was grabbed by security and was threatened with being sent to jail.
In another incident, a black man was required to open his back pack to prove that he had not shoplifted anything. Although there was no evidence to suggest that he had shoplifted, he was told he had to open the back pack. No one had seen anything, he had done nothing suspicious. His complaint was that white people were not required to open their back packs.
In another incident, a police officer was leaving the Menards lot with a shoplifting suspect. The officer had been called to the store to make the arrest. When leaving, the officer was told that he MUST open the trunk of his car so the security guard could see if the officer, himself, had shoplifted. The officer refused, but the security guard would not relent.
Now, ask yourself, do you really want to do business with a company like this?
This is sort of a long story, so please bear ... horrible situation and didn't offer anything better. The long version:

I sent this entire post to the e-mail address given in the article for Menards. The following is the ... heard of a similar occurrence and I hope to never hear of another. Thank you, Ray

Well that's interesting. I got THIS reply today:
Karen,
We have disciplined those involved and I'm sure this will not happen again. I have a cat and 2 dogs and I love them both dearly.

Thank you, Ray

Hmm. The two don't quite match up now, do they >:(
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