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Ertl the cat removed from Tractor Supply Co.

By SARAH BRADBURY

sarah@southwesttimes.com

 

Heather Steele of Tractor Supply Co. had her cat, Ertl, evicted from the store premises during pet appreciation week, while she was on vacation Aug. 11-18. She said Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche is the person behind the animal’s removal from its home.

“I didn’t have anything to do with that cat,” said Roche. He said the police department had been receiving numerous false alarm calls.

“This conveniently happened while I was on vacation.” Steele said she believes Roche called their ADT company and discussed alarm calls. She said last fall there was one week when they had an alarm call almost every night, “but the system is so sensitive that anything will set it off,” said Steele. “We’ve had five calls in nine months, which is pretty reasonable.”

Steele says the security system, which includes a laser beam around the property, is extremely sensitive and can be set off by things like the heat coming on, the sign blowing off whenever they change it, or a drastic change in temperature.

“I believe we are the only business in town that uses PE beams. They are very sensitive to weather and I don’t think the town is too used to using them,” said Steele. “They can be set off if a spider crawls across the lens.” Steele says the beams are waist-high, so they are not low enough, in her opinion, for a cat to set off.

“Management told us that temperature and weather were the cause of the alarms,” said Roche. He said he checked with the alarm company, who said they had received no calls since last winter, so they didn’t think weather was the problem. Roche said he mentioned to the alarm company that they had a pet, which he says the alarm company said was probably what was setting off the alarm.

“I don’t know how it could be said that the cat could be setting off the alarm, because he’s not,” said Steele. “He’s our mascot. A lot of our customers, especially the elderly, come in just to see him.” Steele says they are not the only business around that has a cat, and she is not sure why her cat is being targeted when anything, or any animal, could be setting off the alarm.

Steele said she guesses the whole ordeal is because of the laser beams which trigger the alarm. She said she has it documented that the ADT company had to come out and scrape ice off the lenses this January when it snowed. “There’s raccoons and everything else out here,” said Steele, explaining that any animal could be the culprit.

The cat is now living in her garage and “very unhappy because he is used to having 2000 square feet.” Steele says she’s afraid to let him out because she knows he will run off. “I don’t know how it is that he’s being blamed, but we do want him to come back.” Steele says she’s sure the ordeal has been very stressful for her cat.

Roche said it would be one thing if the cat had been put into a room or a crate on the loading dock overnight, and not just freely roaming around. He said he never even knew about the cat until he got the false alarm calls.

Steele said Roche never called her and she felt that if he had a problem, she would have liked for him to come to her first. She assumed she would have heard from the police directly if anything had been wrong.

Steele said the customers definitely didn’t mind Ertl being in the store and she said she has even heard there is a petition circulating. “Everybody misses him,” said Steele.

24 Responses to Ertl the cat removed from Tractor Supply Co.

  1. Real World

    September 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I don’t think the Police Department is against the cat. Turn off the alarms and keep the cat. I would guess Mrs. Steele removed the cat because Tractor Supply told her to remove it, not the police. Please show me the authority the police department has to make Mrs. Steele remove the cat? If her bosses are fine with paying the false alarm fees, then by all means keep the cat. Maybe those of you that want the cat back should donate to pay the false alarm fees that our own COUNCIL MEMBER/manager does not want to pay? Like I said previously, keep the cat and pay the false alarm fees. It has nothing to do with the Town Police wanting the cat out.

  2. what?

    September 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    She was careless to leave her cat roaming freely while she was on vacation. Tractor Supply is not a boarding facility. Ms Steele should take responsibility for her pet. Crate it or board it when she can’t watch it.

  3. frank winkle

    September 12, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    i come and buy 40-50$ worth of dog & bird food every 2 weeks me and wife say leave the cat alone we like it

  4. an outsider looking in

    September 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Bring the cat back!!! Have only been to Tractor supply a few times since I am out of the area most of the time, however, loved the cat. Seems likes this would be something to keep the Pulaski police dept awake at night, instead of sitting in their patrol cars, sleeping or drinking coffee. Officers are on duty anyway and being paid so what difference does it make if they have to respond to a few false alarm calls?? No extra charge except for a few gallons of gas. On the other side of this perhaps the alarm is too sensitive. The Chief should be pleased that it gives his officers something to do……………

    • what?

      September 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      You really must be out of the area most of the time as you say. Look around this place any given night. I disagree the men and women police officers have time to sit in their cars asleep. I would rather they be able to respond to the many calls they receive at night for miscreants than wasting a “few gallons of gas” and precious time going to repeated false alarms. The woman should take her cat home at night.

      • Beth

        September 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm

        The article said there were five calls in nine months! How much gas can that possible be? Get over it “what?” and stop being so petty. BRING THE CAT BACK!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous

    September 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I go with my husband to tractor supply every chance I get so I can see ertyl.(not sure if I spelled his name right) but anyhow he is an awesome cat and found a very loving home at tractor supply. he has many friends who including myself who buy him treats and pet and play with him bring him back hes not hurting anything or anyone that’s his home!

  6. awwwww

    September 16, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    how hard is it to confine the cat at night? feed him something really yummy right before closing and confine him for the night (with a litterbox!!) somewhere where he can;t trip the alarm. restroom maybe or build him a kitty condo? only hitch, if people feed him treats all day then he won;t be hungry enough to “report” for dinner at closing time….

  7. Anonymous

    September 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    If the cat doesn’t get to come back to its original home at Tractor Supply, neither will a lot of us folks!!!! :-)