The China Post news staff
The Kaohsiung High Court yesterday found an American pastor who shot two stray cats with an air gun not guilty of breaking animal protection laws, reasoning that he had not intended to kill the cats. John Sisk, a pastor at the Assemblies of God church in the southern city of Kaohsiung, allegedly shot two cats with his air gun, killing one and paralyzing the other in March last year.
Sisk was accused of having seriously wounded one stray cat and killed another, in March 2010, bringing him immense public attention.
According to the Kaohsiung Prosecutor’s Office, Sisk had taken the initiative to apologize and explain the situation after the incident, admitting to having been bothered by stray cats for many years, which finally led to him losing control and hurting the cats. He claimed to have prayed and repented to God, and was charged for violations against regulations on guns, ammunition, and knives, said prosecutors. The Prosecutor’s Office explained that Sisk had been found innocent for violations of the Animal Protection Act because he had not meant harm; he had only intended to threaten the stray cats after long having being disturbed by them. Also, his wife suffers from asthma.
The air gun was lethal, as indicated by the Kaohsiung High Court investigations. However, because Sisk was unfamiliar with Taiwanese laws, the Court indicated that the decision not declare the air gun he purchased in the United States when he entered Taiwan was unintentional.
Because air guns are not controlled firearms in the U.S. and Sisk had not intended to commit a crime, the Kaohsiung High Court maintained the verdict and ruled the pastor as innocent.