Alabama man shot and killed after attempting to turn in stray cat to shelter

January 3, 2015

According to a January 2 report by, an Alabama resident was shot and killed by police after he attempted to turn in a stray cat. Many online sources dispute it was a stray dog, but regardless, a man is dead after trying to do a good deed.

Robert Earl Lawrence of Dothan was shot and killed by police on Tuesday night after he attempted to turn in a stray dog. The workers at the Dothan shelter asked Robert for his government issued ID and called police after he showed them a notarized and legal identification that was an affidavit instead of a Motor Vehicle Administration ID card.
It’s not reported that Robert was violent in any way while at the shelter. Police arrived, and Robert was allegedly hassled for several minutes about not having a DMV card. He explained his paperwork showed him to be a sovereign citizen, not bound by federal, local or state laws. All he wanted to do was get the cat to a safe place.

When told he was being placed under arrest, Robert attempted to resist and was shot in the stomach. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.

Robert does have a record of run-ins with the law. He pleaded guilty in 2013 to making harassing communications in connection with threats he made in January 2013 to the State Department of Human Resources. He served 90 days in jail as punishment. He also had two protection orders against him filed for women he had abused.

Still, does this give the police the right to shoot an unarmed man, all over the issue of not having the proper identification to drop off a cat? It would seem police should be able to diffuse a “stray surrender” to a local shelter without it ending in death.

Is there another side to this story? No one has mentioned the police version of what happened. Did he have a weapon? Did he attempt to overpower the officer? Was there another, non-lethal method to diffuse this situation? If anyone has any information, please comment below.

Rest in peace Robert. Whatever you did in your past, it’s just a shame you were killed for trying to perform a good deed.

The Dothan Animal Shelter hasn’t released a statement as to their version of the tragedy, but their Facebook page is taking a beating. According to their website, the Dothan Animal Shelter is run by the Dothan Police Department.


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