Lisa Storey is a pet owner in Orange County, Florida. When one of her children accidentally left the home’s front door open recently, her senior cat slipped outside. Ms. Storey began searching for her beloved pet, called Sofie, immediately. While canvassing the neighborhood with flyers, Ms. Storey learned a neighbor had found Sofie and taken her to Orange Co Animal Services.
“I was kind of relieved when I heard she was there. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. She was rescued.’”
But Orange Co had killed Sofie upon impound so Ms. Storey never had any chance of reclaiming her. The pound’s vet examined the cat, determined her to be “lethargic and extremely emaciated” and killed her.
Ms. Storey was heartbroken:
“It’s not right. I mean, she wasn’t in any pain,” said Storey.
This isn’t the first time the Orange Co vet has been involved in a pet killing that made headlines. After the pound oops-killed a 2 year old dog named Hershey who had an adopter waiting to take him home last summer, a local rescuer wrote to Dr. Robert Ridgway, requesting an explanation for the killing. Dr. Ridgway’s highly unprofessional response included no explanation for the needless killing but a number of attacks on the person demanding answers.
Orange Co policy dictates that stray animals are held for at least 3 days so the owner can reclaim them. But apparently that policy is less policy and more possibly, depending on whatever way the wind blows:
Channel 9 asked Animal Services if that three-day holding policy depended on whether the animal was sick or healthy.
They said hold times are made on a case by case basis.
Orange Co Animal Services likes to read the rules and then apply them based on interpretive dance, as they did when wrongly claiming the law required them to kill a beagle named Rufus whose owner wanted him back last year.
This is your municipal animal shelter, America. These are the people blaming the “irresponsible public” for the killing and claiming shelters should do away with mandatory holding periods for cats because their owners don’t want them. Fight back.
(Thank you Clarice for the link.)