Rick Bartlett, pastor of the Bastrop Christian Church, is facing animal cruelty charges. Bastrop Police Chief Michael Black said Bartlett admitted killing the cat, named Moody, on Sunday, Jan. 15. Bartlett told them that he was having a problem with cats shitting in his garden.
Later on the same day, a park visitor discovered Moody’s near lifeless body on the bank of the Colorado River, some 40-50 feet below a bridge.
Greg Maynard, a veterinarian with the Crossroads Animal Hospital, said Moody had severe internal injuries but no external injuries consitent with being hit with a car. Maynard said Moody was "just laid out like a sack of potatoes."
The same Animal Control Officer who came to the injured cat’s aid last Tuesday was the same officer who assisted Bartlett earlier that day. She recognized the cat which is how police made the connection to the pastor.
Moody was Sarah and Eddy Bell's cat for 11 years. They are having a difficult time understanding what happened to the beloved member of their family. Trying to explain his death to their five-year old daughter has proved challenging.
“She also asked me where Moody is now and I said, 'Baby he's in Heaven,'" said Sarah. "She knows the sorry man who did this is a pastor at the Bastrop Christian Church 1104 Church St Bastrop, TX 78602
So far, no witnesses have come forward saying they saw Bartlett throwing Moody from the bridge, but in the eyes of the law, the animal cruelty charges are the same since he admitted to police that the animal was in his care.
Bartlett said Monday it was just a fucking old cat.