Lee Scheerer

Nevada Animal Control Officer puts live muskrat in freezer to die

Fernley, NV

April 2006

Judge Daniel Bauer dismissed animal cruelty charges against Lee Sheerer, an animal control officer in Silver Springs, NevadaJudge Bauer agreed with Scheerer’s attorney that jurisdiction over a muskrat would fall with wildlife officials. Judge Bauer stated that Scheerer had been punished enough by losing his job over the April incident.

Authorities state that Scheerer was told to pick up a muskrat that was impounded after attacking a dog and take it to the Lyon County Animal Services in Silver Springs.  It was alleged that he instead put it in a freezer while it was still alive.  A veterinarian, who performed a necropsy, determined the animal died of hypothermia and was tortured by freezing.

Judge Bauer questioned whether killing a rodent amounted to animal cruelty, stating that if that were the case, neighbors could turn each other in for trapping mice.

Animal rights activists have criticized Fernley Municipal Judge Daniel Bauer who dismissed the charges.  The states cruelty to animals statute applies to all animals whether it be a pet or wildlife.  Peta Director Daphna Nachminovitch stated "Judge Bauer acted out of ignorance of the law, which is no excuse for a criminal and is certainly no excuse for a judge" "He has sent a dangerous message that when it comes to animals in Fernley, you can get away with murder"

Scheerer lost his job over the April incident in the town 30 miles east of Reno.


KESQ NewsChannel 3