TZI: The Emperor Has No Clothes

Can I see some ID?

Can I see some ID?

The troubling Target Zero Institute, one of the sham “no kill” consultants that participates in the war on cats, is being called on the carpet by a no kill advocate in Huntsville, AL. At issue are the do-nothing tactics and general fakiness of the group:

Target Zero is actually a nonprofit called First Coast No More Homeless Pets which is based in Jacksonville, Florida. The name of the organization has flip-flopped in the last few years but it was last changed from Target Zero to FCNMHP in May of 2014; it has received numerous grants over the years, two of the largest being from the Best Friends Animal Society (a 2012 grant for $340,000 and a 2013 grant for $280,000).
Target Zero was in Huntsville in early September of 2014. We found out in early March of 2015 that the City had signed a contract with Target Zero on January 15, 2015. When I contacted Cameron Moore of Target Zero in March of 2015 to inquire about plans moving forward, I was told that a Town Hall meeting would be held at some point. Beyond that, there were no specific plans shared with me during our hour-long phone conversation. When I expressed the opinion of our coalition that the city should make a commitment to become a no kill community in order to obtain an in-kind commitment from the public, I was told this position is “silly.”
Target Zero has yet to become visible in this community, to hold a Town Hall meeting here or to otherwise inform the public of how it plans to make ours a no kill community.

As a backdrop to the Huntsville fraud, the shelter in the city of Jacksonville, TZI’s home base, is in disarray. The division chief is quitting her job while under investigation for falsifying records to make it look like the facility has achieved “no kill”:

The city’s inspector general confirmed Thursday that the chief of Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services Division who resigned Wednesday is under investigation.
Nikki Harris’ resignation came a month after at least two whistleblowers made allegations that the shelter was being mismanaged and possibly putting animals’ lives in danger.
Harris personnel file shows that she came to ACPS from First Coast No More Homeless Pets in 2013. She was appointed chief the next year and given a salary of $90,000.

Gee, I’d like to keep a salary that size too, if I had one. Although I’d be inclined to actually do my job in order to keep the salary – not kill animals and lie about it. But I guess I’m “silly” too.

The emperor will presumably continue to show off his invisible clothes. The question is, how much longer must the animals being victimized by this chicanery, especially cats, wait for Best Friends, the Jacksonville Humane Society and the other enablers to start protecting their interests.  Because waiting is lethal.

(Thanks Brie and Clarice for the links.)

Cheap Shot in the War on Cats

Cleo, a feral cat who has been vaccinated and neutered.  (Photo by Casey Post)

Cleo, a feral cat who has been vaccinated and neutered. (Photo by Casey Post)

The city of Niagara Falls, NY has a population of about 50,000 and contains approximately 14 square miles of land area.  Sauntering around those 14 square miles are more than 60,000 stray and feral cats – so says the SPCA of Niagara Co.  That works out to about 4286 cats per square mile of land in the city.  Another way to look at it:  One square mile equals 640 acres.  Assuming an even distribution of cats, that would be roughly 7 cats on every acre of land.  Since we know that cats would obviously not distribute themselves evenly, it’s reasonable to assume there are many acres with less than 7 cats and many with more than 7 cats.  But no matter how you toss the dice, the claim amounts to a terrible awful lot of cats.

But wait, there’s more:

“As long as they’re not spayed or neutered those numbers are just going to keep increasing,” said Amy Lewis, executive director [of the SPCA of Niagara Co].

The Coming Menace.  Of Cats.

Alex Matthews sees the cats all the time roaming in his neighborhood[.]

Yes I would guess so.  I imagine he sees them as he’s wading through them and tripping over them.  He sees them perched on every tree branch, front porch and car hood.  He sees them in his cat hating nightmares:

He says people are feeding them and they keep coming back for more. However he has another concern. “With so much rabies and I got young kids that are curious, they’ll go out and touch the cats and kittens and I don’t want them to get sick.” he said.

There have been four animals who tested positive for rabies in Niagara Co from January through July 2015.  At least one of those four was a raccoon.  I don’t know what type of animals the other 3 were or if they were outside the city of Niagara Falls (since the data is reported by county, not by city).  At any rate, it hardly seems as if there is “so much rabies” within the Coming Menace cat population of Niagara Falls.

But the SPCA of Niagara Co appears to be fanning the flames of cat hatery.  I wonder why:

Lewis told 2 On Your Side the main reason for the cat explosion is because “there’s a lot of people don’t spay and neuter, there’s not low cost accessible spay-neuter programs for them. We do have one at the shelter, but we don’t have the resources to accommodate large numbers of animals.”
The Niagara SPCA [needs] a new in-house surgical suite to do more.
The Board is in the very beginning stages of planning either a large expansion at the current facility or building a new facility. The cost could be as high as $8 million.

Ah, I see.  They need $8 million.  Or maybe sixty-thousandy-million.  Or maybe, like the Phantom Menace community’s cats, “those numbers are just going to keep increasing.”  But instead of educating the public about humanely reducing the community cat population over time while protecting public health via rabies vaccination and asking for donations to help in that endeavor, the SPCA seems to have gone the blame-the-public route while throwing cats under the bus.  I mean, the cats who weren’t already under buses in the city, which would have to be quite a lot.  Because so many.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Two TN Pound Directors Kill 379 Cats with Colds in One Month, Remind Public to Spay-Neuter

The Kingsport Animal Shelter reportedly killed 103 cats in response to an upper respiratory virus at the facility last month. At the neighboring Washington County – Johnson City Animal Shelter, 276 cats were killed. Killing cats for having colds is inexcusable. But the directors of both facilities seem to be rather non-chalant about all the violence:

“276 cats, it’s a lot of cats in one month in fact one is too many,” said Washington County Johnson City Animal Shelter Director Debbie Dobbs.
“The cats come in sick, and once they come in sick then they contaminate the other cats that are here also,” said Sullivan County Bluff City Kingsport Animal Shelter Operations Manager Donna Davidson.

If that’s the case then that’s on you.  Your job is to humanely shelter pets which for cats includes proper cage disinfection, stress reduction protocols, vaccination prior to or immediately upon intake and appropriate housing, including isolation for sick animals.  If you were doing your job then cats who come in sick would not infect every other cat in the shelter.  And just because you are failing to prevent mass outbreaks of disease does not give you carte blanche to use mass killing as a response.

More nonsense:

Dobbs and Davidson said the best thing cat owners can do to help fight the virus is spay and neuter pet cats which will help limit overcrowding (a huge factor in spreading the virus in the shelters).

It’s true that overcrowding makes it more likely that a virus will spread in a shelter but hullo – the pair of you just killed 379 sneezing cats and I see no indication of an intent to change practices.  The locals spaying and neutering their pets is a good thing but it will do nothing to save the cats caged in your slaughterhouse right now.  Only you can do that by doing your jobs.

Having a look at the Washington County – Johnson City pound’s webpage detailing its adoption policies, and it’s got all the awful.  The second sentence:

If you are interested in breeding or have personal doubts about sterilization, you are looking for a pet in the wrong place.

Gee, how welcoming.

Next up is the price list where they outline that in addition to the $20 adoption fee, adopters must pay for the cost of the neuter surgery.  If the pet you want to adopt is already neutered, you have to pay a $15 penalty.  Because I don’t know.  Oh and if you choose a dog who is about to give birth, they will spay her, kill the puppies and charge you extra.  They don’t give vaccines either.

But anyway, it’s just a mountain of dead cats and cats come in sick and whaddaya gonna do – except spay and neuter of course.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

ID Shelter Conducting Mass Cat Killing Due to Upper Respiratory Infection

Emily, one of 52 cats from a hoarding case taken in with a URI by the SPCA.

Emily, one of 52 cats from a hoarding case taken in with a URI by the Medina Co SPCA in Ohio.  (Photo by Casey Post)

When some cats at the Pocatello Animal Shelter in Idaho got sick last month, the shelter tried treating them for one week, then conducted lab tests.  The results showed an upper respiratory infection caused by the feline herpes virus and a mycoplasma infection.  After consulting with local vets, shelter officials decided to kill the entire population of cats – approximately 100 pets.

“It’s like a really nasty cold,” said [Pocatello Public Information Officer Logan] McDougall. “You have sneezing, you have coughing, eventually you have a high grade fever, and ultimately it can lead to dehydration and death.”

It can lead to death.  Which means it can also lead to life.  You know what definitely always 100% absolutely leads to death?  Killing.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make. It was something that took a lot of thought, and decided this was the best course of action for all the animals of Pocatello.”

Can we poll the cats on that?

Officials say it wasn’t cost effective to try and treat the cats because their survival is very slim even with treatment.

So some would have survived with treatment but dollars.  And issuing a plea to the public for donations to cover the cost of treatment sounds like work.  So, best course of action is to kill the sick cats, the asymptomatic cats, even the cats in foster homes:

Logan McDougall […] said some of the cats have already been put down and others are still being returned from foster homes.

Emily, after being treated at the Medina Co SPCA.  Her vision is permanently impaired but her desire to be held and loved is perfectly intact.  (Photo by Casey Post)

Emily, after being treated for her URI at the Medina Co SPCA in Ohio. Her vision is permanently impaired but her desire to be held and loved is perfectly intact. (Photo by Casey Post)

Imagine fostering a cat for the Pocatello Animal Shelter and receiving a call to bring in your cat – not because there is a potential adopter who wants to meet her – but to be killed.  Even if she doesn’t have any signs of illness.  Because we’re killing ALL THE CATS.  Sign me up for that foster list.

I hope local animal advocates are taking action.  The cats clearly have no voice at the shelter.

(Thanks Clarice and Anne for the links.)

Kittens Meet Grisly End at NC Pound

Kitten #35611, identified by animal advocates on Facebook as one of the cats killed by a dog at the Columbus Co pound.

Kitten #35611, identified by animal advocates on Facebook as one of the cats killed by a dog at the Columbus Co pound.

More violence at the long troubled pound in Columbus Co, NC – this time, reportedly due to an ACO who “accidentally” left a dog’s cage unlocked and “accidentally” left the door to a room housing cats unlocked then went home for the night.  Oops.  Director Rossie Hayes told a local paper:

“The door was open when we came in Monday and found what we found.”

Found what we found is a way of avoiding saying that the dog killed more than a dozen cats, most of whom were kittens.  Nobody seems to agree on the exact number killed but hey, they’re just cats.

The ACO has been fired.  And Hayes wants to know where he goes to accept his I Refrained from Killing One Dog award:

“This was just as friendly a dog as you would ever see,” Hayes said of the female pit bull. “I think the animal groups thought I would euthanize her, but I didn’t.”

The dog has reportedly been rescued.  The county recently appealed a fine assessed by the state for illegally killing an owned pet.

(Thank you to everyone who sent me links on this story.)

Aurora Animal Shelter Refuses Offer of Hospice Care for Cat

When animal advocate Joan Ogner saw a Petfinder photo of a senior female cat at the Aurora Animal Shelter in CO this week, she felt moved and wanted to help get the pet transferred to a rescue group.  While working on that, she learned the cat has some serious medical issues. Specifically, the cat is partially paralyzed, has an acute URI, no teeth and an abdominal mass. She is being housed in isolation at the shelter.

At that point, Joan felt compelled to help this cat herself by providing hospice care at her home. She contacted the shelter to ask about adopting the cat and was refused. She subsequently contacted the manager via email to reiterate her offer and to advise that she works with another municipal shelter which would gladly do an official shelter-to-shelter transfer if the manager deemed that more appropriate.

The manager replied that the cat was receiving treatment at the shelter and that the vet staff had recommended euthanasia and so the request to transfer was refused. Joan asked the manager to reconsider, explaining that she was offering to care for the cat at home and even if euthanasia was the most humane option, to offer that in the quiet comfort of her loving home and not in a shelter environment which is highly stressful for cats.  She stated she would not allow the cat to suffer.

The manager again refused the offer to get the cat out of her cage at the shelter, citing the “five freedoms”, which she says are being provided to the cat there and stating that she didn’t feel comfortable sending the cat to an “unknown” situation.  Joan explained that she has adopted from the Aurora shelter before so she is not “unknown” and that she could provide immediate references if desired, including the director of the shelter who is willing to do the transfer, her veterinarian of 20 years, and local rescuers.  She again promised to provide loving hospice care and not allow the cat to suffer.

That was yesterday.  The manager has not replied since and the cat’s listing has been removed from Petfinder.  This is the post Joan put on her Facebook page in hopes of being allowed to give this poor cat peace and love in a quiet home environment for whatever time she has left.  Joan has named her Miss Kitty:

Screengrab from Facebook (provided by Joan Ogner)

“PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL ASAP THE AURORA SHELTER TO TRY AND SAVE MISS KITTY (I named her, they only know her by her shelter ID number A172673). Tell the Shelter Manager that this kitty deserves to live her last days in a hospice setting, rather than in the shelter. The Shelter Manager information is: Manager is :Jenee N. Shipman
Manager of Animal Care | City of Aurora Office 303.326.8299 | Mobile 720.409.2474 .
THIS IS URGENT as there is only a short time before they euthanize her. Let’s see that in her last breath she is not experiencing the smell of death in the Euth Room but instead feeling the love and peace of my home. THANKS”
(Screengrab from Facebook provided by Joan Ogner)

While it is humane to offer euthanasia to a pet who has been determined medically hopeless and suffering by a veterinarian, it is not humane to leave the animal in a cage at a shelter while typing out repeated refusals for an offer of home hospice care from a compassionate person.  If this cat is truly medically hopeless and suffering, she should have been euthanized to relieve her suffering as soon as the determination was made.  If not, the cat should be released – either directly to the person offering the hospice care or to the shelter offering to do the official transfer.  I simply don’t understand this refusal nor the reasons behind it.  Just because a shelter is able to meet the so-called “five freedoms” does not make sitting in a cage in isolation any kinder for this cat.  I hope the Aurora Animal Shelter manager reconsiders and accepts the offer of hospice care for Miss Kitty.

ASPCA Will Teach You How to Kill Viable Kittens “Off the Books” to Keep Your Live Release Rate Shiny

Screengrab of shame

Screengrab of shame

The ASPCA and the Mayor’s Alliance are teaching more people how to gut pregnant cats whose kittens are so close to being born that they would survive the gutting.  Euphemistically referred to as “late term spay”, this horrific practice inflicts violence on both the mother cat and her unborn babies.  Once cut out of the mama cat’s belly, each kitten helplessly crawls around until someone kills her.  Mama is sewn up and, if she survives the risky procedure, is left to grieve for her kittens whom she knew were alive inside her when the ASPCA vet gave her an injection and are now inexplicably, heartbreakingly gone.  So much for that prevention of cruelty to animals thing.

And all this needless killing can be kept off the shelter’s books since the kittens are not counted as intakes – only the mama cat.  So the shelter’s live release rate can be touted as an achievement even as it masks the killing of kittens deemed so valueless by the shelter they were never even counted as being alive, despite the fact that they most definitely were.

When I saw a link tweeted by the Mayor’s Alliance and the Feral Cat Initiative on Twitter advertising the ghastly “workshop” above, I chimed in with my two cents:


To be clear, yes there is always a possibility that a kitten, just like any other living being, might die prematurely from an accident or illness.  There is also an excellent chance that she might not, especially if shelters do their jobs to protect life and get homeless animals adopted.  But it is absurd to attempt to justify the killing of viable kittens, ripped from their mother’s belly, in order to protect them from the possibility of premature death.  Late term spay is premature death for kittens.  Death doesn’t get any more premature than that.

I am not saying it’s easy for shelters to handle all the pregnant cats they receive.  I get that it’s a challenge.  What I’m saying is that it’s wrong to kill the kittens who are alive inside these pregnant cats and that option shouldn’t even be on the table at any so-called shelter, let alone a routine practice.

Reaching out to the community for assistance with temporary foster homes is one way to allow the kittens to be born without placing any burden on the shelter.  Partnering with feral colony caretakers is another tool which allows shelters to keep tabs on mama cats and kittens within colonies in order to trap animals at the right time for spaying the mother and taming/adopting the kittens.

There are always alternatives to killing and groups like the ASPCA and the Mayor’s Alliance should be the ones leading the way in protecting the lives of animals.  Instead they are promoting the heinous practice of killing viable kittens while inflicting emotional and physical harm to mother cats.

Oh and for the record:  vegan pizza?  You’re doing it wrong.


The Irresponsible Public Comes Through When Pound Manager Fails to Protect the Human-Animal Bond

Last year the Everett Animal Shelter in Washington “rescued” 110 cats and kittens from a 32 foot trailer and killed them all.  And the response to panleukopenia at the facility has been mass killing.  It’s not a good place for cats.

Kali, as pictured on the website of the Everett Herald.

Kali, as pictured on the website of the Everett Herald.

Lisa Shelly, an area resident, has been struggling to keep her family together.  Her husband suffers from some very serious medical issues and she has been unable to find work.  The family lost their apartment 2 years ago along with most of their personal possessions.  They’ve been living in week-to-week motels and do not have a car.  At Christmas, all Ms. Shelly’s 9 year old son Ronan wanted was a kitten.  His Christmas wish came true and he named her Kali.

Kali recently got out through an open window and Ms. Shelly began looking for her immediately.  She eventually learned that Kali had been impounded by the Everett Animal Shelter.  Ms. Shelly went to the pound to reclaim Kali but was told she’d have to pay $205 to get her pet back.  She didn’t have the money:

“I had to come home without her,” Shelly said, and tell her son she couldn’t get Kali back. “He cried so hard.”

When contacted by the local paper, the pound manager was all about the law:

Dee Cordell, the operations coordinator for the Everett Animal Shelter, said $165 of the fee is charged by Snohomish County, because Kali came from an unincorporated part of the county. The remainder covers the shelter’s costs of getting the cat spayed, vaccinated and tagged with an identification chip.

“By law cats need to be licensed. Since the cat was not spayed and not chipped, the fee is $40,” Cordell said.

A local blogger pointed out that under the Everett municipal code, the manager is “authorized to reduce or waive any fee” except the licensing fee.

But since the manager was apparently uninterested in getting Kali back with her boy, Ms. Shelly enlisted the help of a friend to set up a donation page for the redemption fee.  After the story ran in the local paper, people began donating.  And they continued to give, long after the $205 was raised.  Because irresponsible public.

Thank you once again to the unwashed masses for protecting the human-animal bond, getting a beloved pet reunited with her family and for generally being an alright sort.  Now if Everett taxpayers had some people like that working at the shelter, the community might really shine.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Shelter How To: Identifying Feral Cats and Reuniting Lost Cats with Owners

Elimination of the mandatory holding periods for stray cats impounded by shelters is part of what I refer to as the war on cats.  Cats deserve the same protections as are provided to dogs at shelters, including a mandatory holding period so their owners can reclaim them.

Groups who participate in the war on cats by promoting the absurd notion that shelters should immediately dump adoptable stray cats back on the streets instead of sheltering them attempt to justify this betrayal by claiming that sheltering cats is hard work.  Granted, reuniting lost cats with their owners is hard work and identifying truly feral cats among the many scared cats at a shelter is also hard work.

I think it’s reasonable to ask how the people actually doing this hard work manage to avoid throwing up their hands and dumping all their stray cats back on the streets.  So I did.  Specifically, I asked three directors of shelters where lifesaving is the priority how cats are determined to be feral vs. socialized and how cats are reunited with owners.  Their responses are below.

Mason, an adoptable cat at UPAWS

Mason, an adoptable cat at UPAWS

Lareina Van Strien, Manager at Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter (UPAWS) in Michigan:

At UPAWS this is not a black and white answer, although it used to be. In the past, if a cat reacted in ways such as climbed the walls of his kennel or the room, refused to use the litter box, charged anyone that came near, avoided touching at all cost, etc, that cat would have been considered feral or semi-social. But we have learned that this black and white categorization does not hold true. We have seen cats that come from loving homes act feral when they arrive, climbing the ways, refusing to be touched for weeks on end and we have seen cats that we know were born outside, that were never touched by a human, that were never fed by a human decide after a few weeks of socialization with staff that they don’t mind humans so very much. So at this time at UPAWS deciding if a cat is feral vs. socialized takes time. We give the cat time to settle in, to adjust, to learn that humans bring food and cookies, we let them get used to our smells and our presence. How long we will do this will depend on the individual animal, their history and their progress. Our decision to label a cat feral, semi-social or socialized is an individual decision, because these cats are individuals. If, after time, we decide a cat is truly feral and will never enjoy the company of humans, we work hard to find that cat placement at a barn or safe environment so that cat has a chance at life in a way that makes that cat happy.

P.S – I happened to have adopted a ‘feral’ kitty for my barn two years ago. This cat we knew for sure was born outside and living in an abandoned building. She stayed at the shelter for over 2 months, getting socialized and used to people, but she was never comfortable and terribly unhappy. So I placed her in my barn. She lived out there all summer and was doing great. But winter came, and it was a horrible winter, so I live-trapped her again and brought her inside. She climbed the walls and hid under the floor for two weeks. But, after talking to my other cats, I guess she decided to come out. And now that summer is here I can’t seem to get her back outside! :) She is a very happy indoor kitty.

We have a variety of ways that we try to reunite cats with their owners. Social media is hugely successful in getting pets home. We try to build our facebook following to make sure we are reaching as many people as possible. We take clear pictures of the newly arrived stray and post it on facebook right away. We ask people to share share share! We also have a wonderful group in the community that runs a facebook page called Lost Paws of the U.P. They work very hard to reunite owners and pets. They follow lost ads on craigs list, social media and in the paper and they work to match them up with found pets. They are hugely successfully and very diligent. At UPAWS we also take lost reports. We make sure to get as much info as possible and we look at ever stray animal and compare it to those reports. We encourage owns to be sure to come into the shelter and look, to make posters for their area, to post on social media and to look for their cat frequently. We report all our strays to the local paper ever night and we also make sure to post our strays on our website. We also microchip all our cats that are adopted and leave UPAWS and we send all our adopted cats out with break-away collar.

Daytona, an adoptable cat at the HS

Daytona, an adoptable cat at the HS of Fremont Co

Doug Rae, director of the Humane Society of Fremont Co in Colorado:

We treat all animals as individuals. This applies to cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, ferrets, birds, whatever we get. Just as we work to make dogs safe that appear “aggressive” in appearance, we do the same for cats. It’s been my experience that some cats are overly stressed when entering a shelter (living in a small cage maybe for the first time in their life), meaning their immune system becomes compromised, making life even worse for a scared kittie. So we give cats the necessary time to become accustomed to the shelter, to our staff, and to our volunteers. It might be a day or two, it might be a week, it might be longer. Like dogs, we give cats the time and space they need to feel safe so we can see who they truly are.

If the cat is not responsive to the time and space we give them or to our efforts to socialize with them, then we have a much better idea on the cats temperament. But again, that determination is never made on intake. Not even with a cat that appears feral on intake. To tag any animal as being this or that, or to place an animal into a black or white temperament test on intake, is not fair to the cat or to our life-saving community committed to saving lives.

We have a lost and found Facebook page that received intakes (dogs and cats) are posted on to try and have the cat reclaimed by it’s owner. This posting happens at the time of intake.

An adoptable cat at the Allegany Co Animal Shelter, as pictured on Facebook.

An adoptable cat at the Allegany Co Animal Shelter, as pictured on Facebook.

Peter Masloch, director of the Allegany Co Animal Shelter in Maryland:

It is not always easy to determine by intake if a cat is feral or not. Many cats are scared when coming to the shelter. We had several cases where we thought a cat was feral but then after several days it turned out the cat actually was very lovely. I know that many shelters are doing so called “behavior tests” on cats. We don’t do that. The most important factor is time. If we receive a new cat and we are not sure if it is a feral cat or just a scared cat, we just give the cat time to adjust. Usually after 3 or 4 days we can tell if a cat is truly feral or not. If she is feral, we get her spayed/neutered and then out of the shelter as soon as possible.
There just is no “one fits all solution”, at least not for us. Pets are individuals and every pet reacts different when entering the shelter

The Allegany County Animal Shelter has 3 different Facebook pages:

Usually we post all stray animals we take in on our Lost & Found Facebook page. People from our community also can post to our page if they lost their pet or even found a pet. This page has become extremely helpful to re-unite pets with their owners.

However, the owner return rate for cats is much lower than the owner return rate for dogs. In our County cats are considered free roaming animals and people often don’t come and look for their cat if she doesn’t come back home. But we also had some nice success stories with cats.

It sounds like the recipe for success here is patience, effort and community partnership.  There is no reason any facility accepting cats couldn’t follow the models of those that successfully shelter cats.  And there is no excuse for shelter staff dumping adoptable cats back on the streets instead of doing their jobs.  Mandatory holding periods are a necessary protection for all stray shelter pets and cats are no less deserving of this protection than dogs.

(Thank you Lareina, Doug and Peter for sharing how you help cats at your shelters.)

Family Believes NC Pound Illegally Killed Their Lost Cat

Burley, as pictured on the WCNC website.

Burley, as pictured on the WCNC website.

The Caldwell Co pound in NC is a cat killing machine.  In 2014, the pound killed 94% of the 1448 cats it impounded.  The facility’s website states that owners can look for their lost pets on Petfinder (and emphasizes the pound staff does not want owners calling the place).  But when I clicked through to Petfinder, it said no animals were listed.  The website does have 3 cats listed as adoptable but none have photos.  They’re doing the best they can, prolly.

When the family of a lost cat named Burley found out their pet had been impounded by the Caldwell Co pound the day before Good Friday, the staff had already gone home for the long holiday weekend.  Burley’s family went to the Caldwell Co pound when it reopened on Monday to inquire about him and were shown paperwork on 5 cats – 1 of whom matched Burley’s description.  When they went to look at the caged cats, 3 of the 5 cats were missing, including Burley.

Burley’s family believe he was killed by staff at the Caldwell Co pound.  But the director told a local news reporter that he thinks the cat escaped his cage somehow and then the building.  Somehow.  No word on whether the other 2 “missing” cats were also in on this great escape.

Burley’s owners consider him family and believe the people paid to protect him killed him in violation of the mandatory holding period, then fabricated a story to cover up their wrongdoing.  I can’t help wondering about the 1354 cats killed by the Caldwell Co pound last year.  How many of them had owners who wanted them back, just like Burley?  How many were held for the mandatory holding period – is anyone monitoring that?  Where are the other 2 cats who were discovered “missing” along with Burley?  How many owners of lost cats in Caldwell Co suffered heartbreak, never knowing what happened to their pets, and are now contemplating what tragic ends they may have met at the pound?

Caldwell Co taxpayers must demand better from their pound.  As it stands, they are funding a cat extermination facility.

(Thanks Clarice and Arlene for the link.)


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