Australian Man Arrested After Allegedly Storming an Animal Shelter with an Assault Rifle to Get His Cat

Photos for illustration purposes only. source: The Globe and Mail/ Catster

In the land down under, a former Australian soldier allegedly stormed an animal shelter in full tactical gear and pointed an assault rifle at a woman working there and tied her up.

Tony Whittman served in the Australian Army and was discharged for “failing to render efficient service”, according to BBC. He faces charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment, armed robbery and firearm offences for his actions at the animal shelter.

According to police, the 44-year-old called the Lost Dogs’ Home Shelter in Melbourne on Monday to get his cat but was told to wait until the following morning to pick it up.

Armed with an assault rifle and clad in military gear, he instead forced his way into the premise and pointed his weapon at a staff member demanding to know where the cats are kept.

source: ABC News

An employee at the shelter described his gun as “something a SWAT team in the movies would use” and said that during the altercation, he had told her, “If you do as I say and listen to me, I won’t shoot you.”

On Tuesday, Mr Whittman allegedly returned to the shelter to reclaim his cat, although it’s unclear whether he was successful. He was arrested by police the same day and admitted to the raid. He has since been denied bail.

“The community would be at risk personally of him committing further offences if granted bail,” Magistrate Greg McNamara declared. “The strength of the prosecution case is a very strong one. Firearms were involved, loaded firearms.”

“On this occasion, he’s acted to get back possession of a cat, which he was only going to be without possibly 10 hours,” Detective Senior Constable Jo MacDonald told the court. “The victim and her work colleagues are absolutely traumatised by what’s happened.”

Mr Whittman’s lawyer, Crystle Gomez Vazquez, told the court he had multiple injuries and suffers from post-traumatic disorder (PTSD).

His trial is set for April this year.