More Problems with Cat Care at Companion Animal Alliance

This is the third post in this week’s series on cats in the care of Companion Animal Alliance (CAA) in Baton Rouge, LA. As with the previous post, the information about the cats below was provided to me by a volunteer who wishes to remain anonymous. I am referring to her as Sally, a fictitious name. Read the first post in the series here.

Angel was a little black cat with ID #21197. She was impounded on February 20, 2012 and the impounding ACO notes that she was “caught in an AC cat trap”. Sally reports that Angel was a friendly kitty and sent me this photo of Angel being cuddled by a person on February 23:

Angel got sick in CAA’s care and when Sally visited her on February 28, she appeared to be dying right there in her arms.

Sally begged an employee to get a vet for Angel but he said it would be hours before the vet was available. In fact, according to CAA records obtained via FOIA, Angel wasn’t treated or euthanized at any time on February 28. She was left until March 4 when she was killed for being “feral”. Her records contain no notes indicating she was ever sick. I have starred two notations on the portion of Angel’s records pictured below to draw attention to the pre-euthanasia reason being listed as time/space and the euthanasia condition being listed as feral. This appears to be a discrepancy within the records and both scenarios appear inconsistent with Sally’s photographs of Angel.

***
Peaches was cat #21045 at CAA, impounded on February 9, 2012 after being trapped. The impounding officer wrote “very sweet cat” in the record. Sally sent me this photo of Peaches getting some love on February 14:

CAA records list Peaches as being killed on March 5 for “medical – severe”. (I have starred her entry on the list below.):

As with Angel, there appears to be a discrepancy in the records for Peaches regarding the pre-euthanasia reason (medical – severe) and the euthanasia condition (healthy). I starred the discrepancy in the portion of the records pictured below. There are no notes of any kind in Peaches’ records indicating she was ever sick at CAA.

***

Stanford was impounded as cat #23352 on April 26, 2012.  The impounding officer indicated he was a “dangerous” feral cat who had been trapped.  Sally photographed this cat on 3 different dates and remembers that he never appeared to be feral – that is, he did not back away, hiss or lunge at her.  She says Stanford came in healthy but got sick at CAA.  His original cage card was lost and he was issued a new ID number (24605).

Stanford at CAA on April 29, 2012 when his ID # was 23352.

Stanford on May 1, 2012, still with ID #23352.

Stanford on May 8, 2012 with new ID #24605. He appears to look sick in this photo.

I requested records on both of Stanford’s ID numbers from CAA and found several discrepancies.  For starters, they seem to have him listed as 2 different cats, each killed on a different day. (I starred both ID numbers for clarity.):

The records for cat #23352 indicate he was killed on April 27, 2012 for “aggression” while noting his condition as “appears normal”.  (I starred both notes for clarity.)

The records for cat #24605 indicate he was killed on May 11, 2012 for “time/space” while noting his condition as “appears normal”.  A handwritten entry reads “Been here over 3 days”.  This is a direct contradiction to the listing that says he was killed for being feral.  (I starred 3 notes below for clarity.)

There are no notes in the records of either ID number indicating the cat was sick.

***

Rango was cat ID #21819 at CAA.  He was impounded on February 8, 2012 after being trapped.  Sally says he was there for about 3 weeks, never got sick but on her February 28 visit he was gone.  She photographed him twice while he was at CAA:

Rango at CAA on February 9, 2012.

Rango on February 23, 2012.

I requested his records to find out what happened to Rango. CAA records indicate he was at the pound for just 5 days before being transferred to a rescue group:

The complete records for all these cats can be viewed here.

I reached out to CAA director Kim Sherlaw regarding the records for these cats but haven’t received a reply.

Leave a comment

20 Comments

  1. Amanda

     /  August 4, 2012

    It’s become apparent that CAA isn’t very good at keeping records, but WOW. And these were the files they gave you.

    Reply
  2. Jessica C

     /  August 4, 2012

    Now I’ve never worked at a shelter, but I just dont understand what is so hard about keeping these records straight. Cat comes in, you input the information into a file, you look up said information to change things around if need be in file, youre done with said file. Is it just stupidity or deliberately trying to make it seem like they are trying or something??

    Reply
    • Jessica C

       /  August 4, 2012

      Whoops I should elaborate on that one. Or seem like they are trying or something regarding getting the animals out alive, when really they were killed but they dont want to put it in their records.

      Reply
  3. Vania

     /  August 4, 2012

    If you look closely, you can see that the blacked out name on Intake for these is Melanie Scott. The blacked out name in the Outcome section is Debbie Pearson (near as I can read).

    Reply
  4. db

     /  August 4, 2012

    Not only does their record keep look extremely suspect, but their assessment and treatment (or lack thereof) is absolutely disgusting. Who is this director responsible to?
    It pains me to see such beautiful animals either killed or mistreated, for no fault of their own.
    I agree with mikken, if there is no TNR program, they have no business bringing in strays or ferals. It’s obvious they don’t know much about cats in general, much less ferals/strays.

    Reply
  5. WALTER COLLINS

     /  August 4, 2012

    There must be a cat hater at CAA, the world has lots of them!!

    Reply
    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. There’s a “turd in the punch bowl.” All too often, some closed minded moron cat hater is in the position to force his/her sadistic will upon innocent cats in unfortunate situations. I fear that’s the case in too many “shelters” across the country.

      Eventually, those “people” will be replaced by those of us who are more qualified for the position and the No-Kill community will prevail. Only it isn’t happening fast enough.

      Reply
  6. mikken

     /  August 4, 2012

    This shelter clearly needs a full audit by an outside agency NOW.

    Reply
    • Mikken, I have personally requested this from the Metro Council and was told that the director is “new” and that they did not “micromanage”. I am one of the banned volunteers for speaking out about the conditions of the stray cat room. If you ask too many questions, they ban you. I am also witness to the abhorrent system of record-keeping. I used to pull cats for rescue by Project Purr and if their kennel card was missing, you weren’t allowed to pull them. Sometimes, though, they’d just make them a new one to let you rescue them. There is no rhyme or reason to their “procedures”.

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  August 4, 2012

        Christine, perhaps if you point out the OBVIOUS discrepancies in both the cats’ records AND the drug usage, they’ll reconsider. Is there anyone else to whom we can appeal for some kind of oversight at the shelter?

  7. spaycritter

     /  August 4, 2012

    Anyone else note the amount of sodium pentobarbitol (Fatal Plus) used? 4cc’s seems to be the standard dose. At 1cc/ 10 lbs , 4cc’s is a 40 lb dose. Those must be really large cats. Or , a way to get another agency (DEA) to investigate this place.

    Reply
  8. Jeanne

     /  August 4, 2012

    Poor kitties. What is the shelter doing to identify and prevent whatever horrible infectious diseases these cats are catching there? I took a look at their facebook page–it’s an eye-opener.
    URL is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Companion-Animal-Alliance/135515159858324 Take a few minutes to read their “Weekly Missive”–they want $10,000 just to move dogs out-of-state! That’s an astonishing figure considering that their last big transport carried 100 dogs and the average cost of getting a shelter dog ready to head north is less than $500, including spay/neuter, vaccinations, other routine vetting, cost of boarding during quarantine prior to transport, and the transport itself. Guess it figures CAA is partnering with the ASPCA–they must have similar beliefs and values–with $$$ heading the list.

    Reply
  9. The link for WVLA just went to their website. Here’s the link about volunteers protesting the removal of the Last Minute Hope page and banning volunteers who spoke up: http://www.nbc33tv.com/all-about-animals/protesters-question-caas-no-kill-initiative-caa-responds

    Reply
    • db

       /  August 4, 2012

      I just used the “contact” link to urge nbc33 to check out this blog to look at the records. Perhaps it would be good if others would do the same thing, or make comments after the news story. This needs to go beyond the YB blog, and you can all help by doing that.

      Reply
  10. Vicki Aucremanne

     /  August 5, 2012

    The pictures of Sanford are clearly showing a cat who is progressively getting sicker and sicker. If the people who work at this so called shelter can not see that, they need to find a better way to make a living – not caring for innocent animals. This is just disgusting to me. If you or i as regular cat owners, were to allow this to happen, and not get the animal treatment, we would be accused of neglect at the least…why in the world are shelters allowed to get away with this??

    Reply
  11. Remove the tumors!

     /  August 5, 2012

    Hiring this new (not very impressive) director is like trying to give a blood transfusion to a cancer patient. The real tumors needs to be removed. Without this, CAA is bound to suffer an agonizing death.

    Reply
  12. 3canines

     /  August 6, 2012

    The atrocities allowed by the metro council continue at CAA AND the other unit Animal Control. The measure of humanity can be measured by how we treat our animals. What does this say about Baton Rouge as a community? The individuals running the show are either ignorant or stupid. I am sure they can cry, “Lack of resources, out of date facility, etc,” to justify the treatments. Regardless of the end result of some of these animals, humane treatment in the meantime should be pro forma. The total lack of regard reminds me of what history revealed about the death camps of Germany.

    Reply
  13. Mary Ellen Drayer

     /  August 6, 2012

    This is very disturbing and is a good illustration of why we need to demand transparency even in shelters claiming to be “no kill.” Even if a shelter is saving 90% of its intake, if there is no TNR program and feral and stray cats are still be being impounded, warehoused, and eventually killed, that shelter has failed a significant portion of the companion animal population and cannot honestly be called no kill.

    Reply
  14. Amanda

     /  August 8, 2012

    And it continues…Lulu was recently killed for being “feral” when she was not. Several volunteers/rescuers noted that the cat was just a scared friendly, but CAA still killed her as soon as the three-day hold was up. Evidently, they didn’t scan for a microchip either. This kitty had a family who had been looking for her.

    Reply
  15. Joanne

     /  August 19, 2012

    What ashamed. Will someone being able to speak out the truth and not being blamed for. All animals have the right to have someone speaking out for them and to stop cruelty being done to them. We are living in free Countries at least that is what, our politicians are saying but go figured when we try to do so we are getting banned or even worst.

    Reply

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