MOCKSVILLE, N.C. — A small North Carolina town is in an uproar after a four-legged member of the police force vanished from the department's social media.
Sergeant Butters, an orange tabby cat, had been filling in at a police station in Davie County, and managed to amass quite the online following.
Now, residents and fans are concerned for his well-being and demanding answers after noticing Sgt. Butters' absence.
It began when a stray cat showed up at the Mocksville Police Department. He never left and before long became an officer in his own right and a social media star.
“People (were always) coming by to see him. Officers coming by to see him, sprawled out on a desk doing paperwork. All that kind of stuff,” said Alan Bagshaw, a concerned citizen.
“It was just a great, feel-good thing that everyone loved to watch daily and when it just disappeared with no explanation from anyone, we had questions,” said Candace Kaufman, who started the Facebook group "Save Sarge Butters" after the cat's social media pages were deactivated.
Sarge supporters were looking for answers and for an update on the beloved cat.
“If they’re willing to take a living creature that they’ve been put in charge of and just kind of throw it away, this is exactly why our shelters are full,” Bagshaw said.
“Sargent Butters has been one of the best PR campaigns going on right now. With all the stuff in the past that has gone on with Mocksville and the police department, this is one of the best marketing and PR things that I have seen in a long time,” Kaufman said.
“It’s just a very sad situation to have that removed,” Bagshaw said.
On Tuesday, worried Mocksville residents finally got an answer about Sgt. Butters' whereabouts.
The mayor of Mocksville announced to a packed room at a city council meeting that Sarge is safe and staying with a friend of the police department.
The mayor added that his social media pages would return, but it was unclear if he would still be a part of the police department.