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Texas Pastor Kills Neighbors’ Cat

Texas Pastor Kills Neighbors’ Cat

A church pastor in Bastrop, Texas has been charged with animal cruelty. He is accused of throwing his neighbors’ cat off the downtown bridge. If convicted, he could face a fine of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year.

Rick Bartlett, the pastor of Bastrop Christian Church, admitted to having his neighbors’ cat for three days before it died. He had set traps around his property and caught the cat on the 15th of this month, but then claims to have forgotten about it, and left it caged in the back of his pick-up truck until the 17th. The family of the cat, the Bells, were notified later that day that the cat had been found below the bridge, and died soon after. Its injuries were consistent with a fall but there is no evidence it was hit by a vehicle.

Though no witnesses have yet come forward, the possibility that Bartlett intentionally threw the cat off the bridge is not far-fetched. The cat could have jumped out of the moving vehicle, but since it was under his care, Bartlett is responsible for the cat’s death, and faces the same penalties either way.

This sad story follows closely on the heels of the incident in Arkansas, in which a Democrat running for congress found his cat dead with the word “liberal” painted on its body.

The Bells have a five-year-old daughter. In explaining why their cat was gone, mother Sarah told her daughter that “Moody” had gone to heaven. The little girl, who already knew the pastor was responsible for her cat’s death, said “I don’t believe in heaven anymore, Moody is just dead.”

Since Pastor Bartlett himself reportedly did not respond to interview requests, we can only speculate on what he was thinking, based on second-hand reports. He had told an animal control officer that he’d set traps because he had a problem with feral cats in his garden. And he did eventually bring the cat to the authorities, who immediately found the cat’s identifying information on its collar.

After that, Bartlett, having turned down an offer of an officer to bring the cat to its owners, saying he would do so himself, somehow ended up at home, while the cat ended up laying dying under a bridge. If Bartlett intentionally killed the cat, it must have been spontaneous, or why would he have gone to the authorities first (unless he was hoping they would euthanize it rather than return it to its family)? But even if the cat jumped out of the vehicle and off the bridge by itself, Bartlett still left it for dead and chose to say nothing to the family.

It’s not at all counter-intuitive to me that future serial killers often torture small animals as children. Psychopaths have no empathy for others, in effect, behaving as if they have no conscience at all. It’s true that for many people, a companion animal is no more a member of the family than a houseplant. But to decide that because you do not value an animal’s well-being, that you therefore don’t have to respect the lives of other people’s animal family members, is beyond the pale.

It goes without saying that Bartlett isn’t much of an animal lover. Is he actually psychopathic? I think he might be.

Related stories:

Cat Slaughtered: “Liberal” Painted On Its Corpse

The Depth of Animal Emotions

Animal Cruelty: Who is to Blame?

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Photo credit: Alvesgaspar

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2:49AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Pastor Rick and Tina Bartlett's trial is on May 9th and May 13th, 2013 at the Bastrop County Courthouse.

12:57AM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

I also signed the petition, adding some scriptures that Rick and Tina Bartlett don't seem to know and/or believe. I hear that they took their receptionist, Ann, to their new church, along with some of the congregation. How anyone can trust the Bartletts to minister to them is beyond me, unless these congregants are like-minded. His wife needs to be convicted as an accessory to Moody's death. I don't believe either of them didn't know where Moody lived. I also don't believe Tina Bartlett knew nothing about what her husband did to Moody. Both of them shame the Christian faith.

12:25PM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

They should lock him up and lose the key. It isn't bad enough that he is an animal abuser, but a preacher as well. I sure ain't going to his church.

RIP Moody.

Hopefully justice will be served and he gets what he deserves.

3:41AM PST on Jan 23, 2013

There has been no trial date set and this dastardly crime took place one year ago on 1/17/2012 at 4:30 PM. The court case for "Bell v. Rick Bartlett" is: # 28.467

Yet ...Rick Bartlett has been allowed to start up a new church called Riverside Christian Church on 609 Jessica Place, Bastrop, TX 78602. It is just a few blocks from his own home after he was let go from Bastrop Christian Church.
The new church phone number: (512) 718-0190.
His new Riverside Christian Church begins every Sunday at 10:00 AM.

Here is the clincher; the Bartlett's own a dog named "Toot." How would they like it if someone pulled the same stunt on their beloved dog? Tina Bartlett, his wife went right along with the heinous crime to Moody the cat being thrown over HWY Bridge 150. She knew all about it and did nothing to stop it.

For Justice, please call, write. fax or email District Attorney Bryan Goertz at:
Phone: 512-581-7125
Here is the email address to write to him: (She is the Executive Assistant to the D. A. or prosecutor, Bryan Goertz.)

Once again, PLEASE call, write, fax or email:
District Attorney Bryan Goertz
Phone: 512-581-7125
Fax: 512-581-7133
Address: 804 Pecan Street; Bastrop, TX 78602

To read the news article and see the video of Moody and Rick Bartlett:

If the justice system lets us down, then let's not let Moody the cat

4:04AM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Ruth C., I couldn't agree with you more. This can't be Rick Bartlett's first offense (but it may be the first one he got caught at) and animal abusers/murderers like Jeffrey Dahmer tend to graduate to Homo sapiens (humans, young kids like altar boys, Cub and Boy Scouts, etc.) Rick Bartlett sounds like a ticking time bomb sporting a clergyman's cloth. Just because he is a "good ol' boy" doesn't make him a good boy.

He might be able to quote scripture like a Holy man but he is living a lie and needs to cool his heels and spend time in the slammer reading up on his Bible scripture. It looks like he might have played hooky from school and missed reading a few chapters at that seminary school of his.

3:53AM PST on Jan 10, 2013

The Bartlett's now have their own church called Riverside Christian Church at 609 Jessica Place in Bastrop, TX that meets on Sundays at 10:00 AM. Even after this heinous crime, the congregation is still putting money in the collection plate that is exempt from taxes.

Their court case is called " Bell vs. Bartlett" --- Case # 28.467
You can look it up on the Internet under the community of Bastrop, TX and read the entire fourteen pages and reach your own conclusions. Here is the URL address of it:

I find nothing noble in a minister sporting 300 lbs on his girth, starving a defenseless ten-pound cat, entrapping him, torturing him, lying to Animal Control and then throwing the cat off the HWY 150 Bridge thinking he wouldn't get caught and being above the law due to his delusional sense of entitlement.

Moody couldn't fend for himself. But we as humans can. To help the cause for Moody, kindly send this story to ALL your email friends, Facebook, Twitter, My Space, word of mouth. Let's make this petition go viral. It will only take a few minutes of your time and it won't cost you a dime to "Share" it.

Please write to the Bastrop, TX district attorney and ask that they look into Rick Bartlett's past actions; see if he has a rap sheet and how long it is. I know he spent one day in jail over this on 1/20/2012. This can't be his first offense (but it may be the first one he got caught at) and animal ab

3:33AM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Rick Bartlett is no more a "man of God" than Saddam Hussein. He has a wife named, Tina Bartlett, that was in on the trapping of Moody. The cat was sporting an ID collar that you will see as physical evidence on the Original Petition1.

Tina did nothing to prevent the torture or take the cat back to the neighbors. Nice Christian wifey, don't ya think? She is also being sued. The Bartlett's own a dog named "Toot" and they have two sons, Jerome Bartlett, who likes to promote himself on "You Tube" videos and another son named Chris Bartlett who gives the high five sign to Jesus. They spent Christmas with their parents and gave Rick Bartlett "cat paraphernalia holiday gifts" as a Bartlett family gag joke. However, no one is laughing.

Animal cruelty is a crime and the murder of a neighbor's cat is beyond comprehension for even the everyday normal dysfunctional family, let alone a "Christian family" with a patriarch as a church leader and volunteer police chaplain.

Folks, Tina and Rick Bartlett are no "Leave It To Beaver" or "Father Knows Best" 1950's family. There is nothing moral about this story and I am being kind here.

The Bartletts are no longer at Bastrop Christian Church, they were let go. They now have their own church called Riverside Christian Church at 609 Jessica Place in Bastrop, TX that meets on Sundays at 10:00 AM. Even after this heinous crime that was committed, the congregation is still putting money in the collection plate that is exem

2:43AM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Just sign the darn petition and then make ask all yourl homeboys to watch this couple do a perfect swan dive like they made poor Moody do off of HWY 150 Bridge.

Why spend needless time in the court systems if their case even goes to trial. The Bartlett Family have no serenity, they feel entitlement and are above the law.

The Bartlett's need to put themselves out of their misery and see what it feels like to hit the grass and cement after falling forty to fifty feet off a bridge like poor Moody. Maybe they will find serenity and happiness in the afterlife.

7:59AM PDT on May 13, 2012

i have already written what I think of such a behaviour. We have two cats and they are family members that give us much pleasure. I could never imagine throwing my family members from a bridge. Beurk!

7:59AM PDT on May 13, 2012

i have already written what I think of such a behaviour. We have two cats and they are family members that give us much pleasure. I could never imagine throwing my family members from a bridge. Beurk!

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