Although there are currently only 11 pets, all dogs, listed on the Petfinder page for the Monongalia County Canine Adoption Center in Morgantown, WV, it does state that the facility adopts out both cats and dogs. In fact, there is an alert that the pound is overflowing with cats:
While it’s hard to reconcile the idea that the facility is overflowing with cats but is advertising zero as available for adoption online (the pound’s website takes you to Petfinder), it’s possible some insight may be gleaned from a recent story covered by local media.
Tom Wiley, a Morgantown landlord, is currently the subject of a police investigation after two separate tenants reported he went into their apartments and stole their cats. Although pets were not allowed in the apartments, neither tenant was given any prior notice that their cats would be stolen by the landlord. The law requires that prior notice be given before a landlord removes anything from a tenant’s apartment.
Both cat owners say they tried to find out what happened to their pets, including contacting the landlord. One was told by Mr. Wiley that her cat had been “taken care of” even though he refused to say exactly what he had done. The other says she was ignored by Mr. Wiley until he finally responded to a REWARD FOR LOST PET sign she posted. He told her he had taken her pet to the Monongalia County Canine Adoption Center.
In fact, Mr. Wiley allegedly took both cats to the same pound where they were both killed upon intake. One of the cats, Cali, had been adopted from PURR and was microchipped. Had workers at the pound bothered to scan Cali prior to killing her, they could have obtained PURR’s contact information and someone from the group would have reclaimed her. It seems like so little to ask – that pound employees do their jobs – and yet:
Officials at the pound said they were unable to scan the animal properly because of its aggressiveness the day it was taken in.
Read: And they couldn’t wait to kill her.
The cat was supposedly too aggressive to scan for a chip but they somehow managed to kill her which, unlike a scan, would require direct contact. I don’t want to know how.
Cali’s owner says she was not aggressive. Although one can imagine she was likely scared after being stolen by a cat hater, transported by who-knows-what means and brought inside a pet killing facility.
Killing surrendered animals upon impound is always bad policy at any “shelter”.
- Pets have the right to live. The fact that they have been surrendered to a shelter does not trump that right.
- The shelter does not know for certain if the surrendering party is actually the pet’s owner.
- Pets may be microchipped with contact information of someone willing to reclaim them if contacted.
- Someone may be looking for the surrendered pet.
- It’s the shelter’s job to find the animal a new home, if needed.
In addition, no domesticated animal’s behavior can accurately be assessed at the time of arrival at a pound. Some animals may be able to be assessed after a settling-in period, others may never reach that state. Behavioral assessments are of limited value in a shelter environment but the notion that any animal can be evaluated upon impound is outrageous.
I can’t help but wonder whether the Monongalia Co pound workers even asked Mr. Wiley whether he owned the cats. For all I know, he truthfully told them he’d stolen the pets from tenants and they gleefully busted out the Fatal Plus to teach the irresponsible public a lesson. Maybe they have an established relationship with Mr. Wiley, as many pet killing facilities do with cat haters.
And what about the zero adoptable cats listed online by the Monongalia Co pound – are they all “aggressive”? Is it just the pound’s dumpster that is “overflowing” with cats?
(Thanks Vicki for sending me this story.)