Pastor Rick Bartlett of Bastrop, TX, was charged with animal cruelty in January of last year. In a few hours, he’ll be getting his day in court.
The trial of a Bastrop pastor who has been charged with animal cruelty in the abuse and death of a cat last year is set to begin at 9 a.m. Monday in the Bastrop County Court of Law.
On January 15, 2012, Bartlett trapped Moody, his neighbors’ pet, on his property. He put Moody in a cage in the back of his pickup truck. The reverend later admitted that he left the feline trapped in the cage for two days without giving it food or water.
An animal control officer, contacted by Bartlett, noticed Moody’s collar and name tag; she told the pastor to return the cat its owners.
According to Bastrop Police Detective Sarah Moore, Bartlett told the officer “he would just go home and release the cat in the neighborhood.” Later that evening [the animal control officer] was told about a dead cat that was found underneath the Hwy 150 bridge. It was Moody [photo, in better times]. He had fallen some 50 feet to his death.
When investigators caught up with Bartlett, he stated that Moody had escaped from the cage and he didn’t know what had happened to him.
Bartlett later confessed that he was “extremely stressed and angry because of personal issues” and he “untied the bungee chord the cage was attached to and opened the door to the cage and drove off with the intention of the cat jumping out of the vehicle while he was driving off.”
Little about that explanation makes sense. Let’s see if the court can tease some truth out of him.
Bartlett is the former pastor for the Bastrop Christian Church. He was let go from the church after his arrest, only to set up a new house of worship in his own home — the Riverside Christian Church.