Apparent Discrepancies in Cat Records at Companion Animal Alliance

This is the second post regarding cats in the care of Companion Animal Alliance in Baton Rouge.  The information regarding the cats in this post came to me from a volunteer who has asked to remain anonymous.  I am referring to her as Sally but that is not her real name.

Sally told me that cat #22709 was a mama cat who came into CAA with one kitten on March 29, 2012.  She says a rescue hold was placed on the mama kitty but CAA killed her 2 days later, stating she was sick.  This is the photo Sally provided to me of cat #22709 and it looks like the same cats depicted in the photos in the CAA records:

The records from CAA, obtained via FOIA, appear to contradict not only the story provided by the volunteer, but also themselves. One portion of the records describes the cat as “active – animal is not in shelter”:

Another part of the records indicates mama and baby were owner surrendered on March 29:

Another document on the same cat indicates she was a stray, picked up by an ACO, and her status in July was “available”:

I reached out to CAA director Kim Sherlaw hoping to get some clarification on this cat but received no response.

***

Sally indicates cat #22706 was also a mama cat who had a kitten.  She says a rescue group took the kitten but left mama.  Sally states that the mama cat was very sick and appeared to be suffering.  CAA took no action to either treat or euthanize the cat until some days later when she was brought to the kill room.  But her records had been lost so the staff returned the sick cat to her cage.  A rescuer finally pulled the cat and took her to a vet clinic for euthanasia in order to end her suffering.  This was the photo Sally provided of cat #22706 and it looks like the same cat depicted in the photo in the CAA records:

The CAA records (note the “-2″ after the ID number, as if the original records were lost) appear to count this cat as a live release and there are no notes indicating the cat was sick.

Portion of CAA records listing the condition of cat #22706 at time of transfer as “normal”:

I reached out to CAA director Kim Sherlaw hoping to get some clarification on this cat but received no response.

The complete records provided under FOIA for both these cats can be viewed here.

I will be posting additional records on other cats at CAA which also raise questions.

Leave a comment

19 Comments

  1. Karen F

     /  August 3, 2012

    How can shelters do these things? How is it possible? These are agencies that are funded by public money, and are UNDER SCRUTINY, yet they continue to be managed with utter cruelty and incompetence. It is mind-boggling.

    Reply
  2. mikken

     /  August 3, 2012

    Correct documentation is apparently not a concern at CAA. This can cost a director his/her job, so you’d think it would be more of a priority…

    Reply
  3. Kim Sherlaw does not respond to people that question her. I was banned from the shelter and all correspondence asking “why?” were ignored. Now the word that she’s put out is that I and the other banned volunteers “refused to meet with her”.

    Reply
  4. Amanda

     /  August 3, 2012

    Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Reply
  5. Another Anonymous Volunteer

     /  August 3, 2012

    This sort of chaos is a chronic problem there for both cats and dogs. Animals are regularly “lost”; several have been euthanized “by accident” before their hold times were up; interested adopters are turned away from animals that are selected for transports, resulting in others being euthanized for space being taken up by the transport animals; legitimate rescues and fosters were not allowed to pull select animals from a hoarding situation so that the animals could go to “special” homes that never materialized, resulting in their being euthanized. The list goes on and on and on…

    Reply
    • Anonymous also

       /  August 4, 2012

      The hoarding cats…27 cats seized. Only 9 remain…they were better off with the hoarder. Least they weren’t trapped in a 2×3 cage with their own filth, with access to food and water.

      Reply
      • Another Anonymous Volunteer

         /  August 7, 2012

        If there are only 9 remaining cats from the hoarding situation, just what sort of “special homes” did the other 18 get? A free ride to the euthanasia room? Sick!! Legitimate rescues came forward to pull these cats and were turned away!

      • Amanda

         /  August 7, 2012

        For those who do not know the hoarding situation Another Anonymous Volunteer is referring to, you can see the story here: http://www.nbc33tv.com/all-about-animals/caa-rescues-43-animals-from-alleged-hoarder

        Notice the date. That was Just One Day, but CAA gave it such a poor effort that it was not mentioned in the news. It was more important that they focus on getting “good press” by “rescuing” these animals. They could have given Just One Day a proper effort and made room for all these animals coming in, but no. It’s much more important to look like you’re doing the right thing.

        “It’s heartbreaking because people start out with the right intentions of wanting to care for animals, and they believe that they’re helping animals,” stated Sherlaw. “But it just reaches a point where it goes overboard and becomes neglectful.”

        Oh, the irony.

      • Anonymous also

         /  August 7, 2012

        Most of the hoarding cats seized were highly adoptable!! Already spayed/neutered and sociable. It’s a tragedy that so few are still alive. Publicising the cats somewhere…anywhere might have had people step up and adopt. Instead they have quietly disappeared.
        Check out CAA’s page for what they are mainly interested in. Collecting money to ship more dogs up north. As if the North doesn’t have their own problems.

  6. mikken

     /  August 3, 2012

    Not responding to requests for information is unacceptable. To whom does Kim Sherlaw answer? Perhaps that person would be willing to do some investigation into her job performance?

    If she’s “hiding” the outcomes of cats, what else is she covering up?

    Reply
  7. nightmare at CAA

     /  August 3, 2012

    Kym Sherlaw inherited a mess that was left to her by the former director Debbie Pierson, who was and is, for lack of words…a nightmare. This does not dismiss the fact that Sherlaw herself has come up with no new programs to address the problems at the shelter and has actually shut down very successful ones. While she is definitely a better politician and better at manipulating the press than the former director, she is just as incompetent . The best plan she has come up with so far, is shipping animals off to other, already pet overpopulated cities with no guarantees or follow up of what will become of them . She is quickly gaining the nickname of “Ship Em Off Sherlaw”. This is all supported by a board of directors comprised of mostly rich socialites who do not have an inkling of how to run a shelter or negotiate a proper contract with the state. Rumors are afloat that the shelter is destined to be taken over by the city again in the near future.

    Reply
  8. Jessica C

     /  August 3, 2012

    Nothing surprises me in these shelters anymore. I think Ive heard it all. How sad is that?

    Reply
  9. The Voice of Reason

     /  August 3, 2012

    While I am not a big fan of CAA and how it operates, I find the comments continually made by a small group of disgruntled ex-volunteers to be most distressing. First of all, they all know exactly why they were banned from the shelter so why the need for further discussion. Furthermore, when Kim Sherlaw was approached about meeting with them, they dictated how, when and where the meeting would take place, i.e. on their territory. With Ms. Sherlaw being new to the shelter, I would certainly think that she had more pressing things to take care of than meeting with three ex-volunteers.

    This group had their own candidate that they supported for the position and once that person did not get the job, the witch hunt was on. It would not matter who got the job, as long as it wasn’t their person, they were not going to be pleased.

    As with any new endeavor, there are always hills and valleys, ups and downs, successes and failures. Rather than focus on past events that were not under Ms. Sherlaw’s administration, it is time to move forward and work towards the goal of No-Kill, even if it takes three years.

    In closing, it has become increasingly apparent that no matter what CAA, East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control or Ms. Sherlaw do, it will not satisfy this group of people. They do nothing more than criticize everything that is done at CAA, and that includes the good. Enough said.

    Reply
    • I don’t see these posts as focusing on why vols were banned or how they discussed meeting with the director. Rather I see the focus as being on the cats, with evidence of apparent wrongdoing on the part of CAA.

      No kill doesn’t take 3 years and anyone committed to accomplishing it would never put that kind of time frame on it.

      Reply
    • Jeanne

       /  August 4, 2012

      There are times when “disgruntled fomer volunteer” (or employee) ranks right up there with “the irresponsible public” when it comes to trying to deflect blame and avoid accountability for very real problems at a shelter. Seems to me the posts here raise legitimate questions about the quality of care and record-keeping and leadership at CAA. The comments are distressing alright–but not because they’re coming from “disgruntled ex-volunteers.

      Reply
  10. Anonymous also

     /  August 3, 2012

    Both cats were part of an owner surrender of 20+ cats…lovely people. The black mother cat’s kitten was pulled by rescue because she was dying. She was suffering and should have been humanely pts immediately. Instead she was in taken from strays to the kill room for who knows how long, only to be returned to strays for lack of paperwork.
    I do no not condone killing for space or treatable illness. Momma cat was suffering…she should have been euthanized the same day the kitten was pulled. Instead she lingered on in misery. I heard later on that her kitten died also.
    The tabby momma cat seemed healthy when the hold was placed. Why was she singled out?
    God help you if your cat ends up there. If the cat is deemed feral…times up after 3 days, sick or not. I can just imagine how my own cats would react if they were trapped and tossed in a cage.

    Reply
  11. “The Voice of Reason”=CAA Board Member…just sayin’. They always try to attack an individual rather than focus on what is wrong with the situation. All any of us ask for is competence, whoever is in charge.

    Reply
  12. Oh wait, I remember “The Voice of Reason”. That would be the wife of a CAA employee.

    Reply
  1. Failures at Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge » Vox Felina – Feral/free-roaming cats and trap-neuter-return/TNR: critiquing the opposition

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