WJTV News Channel 12 - Teacher shoots cat for using kid's sandbox as litter box

Teacher shoots cat for using kid's sandbox as litter box

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Katherine Duke teaches fourth grade at Wilson Elementary School in Murfreesboro. Katherine Duke teaches fourth grade at Wilson Elementary School in Murfreesboro.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -

A Rutherford County elementary school teacher faces animal cruelty charges for shooting her neighbor's cat.

Katherine Duke, a fourth grade teacher at Wilson Elementary School in Murfreesboro, admitted to police she shot the cat Thursday afternoon because she was tired of it using her children's sandbox as a litter box.

The cat's owner rushed it to a veterinarian where the animal had to be euthanized.

Duke, 41, was charged with animal cruelty and booked into the Rutherford County Detention Center.

She has since been released on a $2,250 bond and is scheduled to appear in court March 4.

Rutherford County Schools' spokesperson James Evans told News 2 Duke was hired in 1996 and has had no disciplinary issues with the school district.

He said she has been on medical leave since November 8 and is scheduled to be for the remainder of the school year.

The Rutherford County School Board has a policy that states employees must report arrests to their supervisor within 72 hours and, according to Evans, she did so Friday morning.

Neighbors called Duke "a good person" and said they were "absolutely stunned" at the charges against her.

The neighbors said Duke has been recovering from major surgery.

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