Oops They Did It Again

Hello animal shelter, I’d like to redeem my pet!

Oh.

Well.

Ah.

Oops:  A cat in Virginia Beach got lost last Monday.  On Tuesday, the owner called AC to see if they had her.  They did.  The owner was told to come down and pick up the cat on Wednesday.  The owner was filled with anxiety Tuesday night, waiting to get her kitty back home.  When she showed up at AC on Wednesday, she found out they had killed her cat:

Virginia Beach Police spokesman MPO Adam Bernstein said Animal Control Services staff suspected the cat had rabies because of it was showing symptoms and aggressive behavior.

No details are provided as to what exactly the “symptoms” were but certainly a cat acting pissy at a shelter is nothing unusual.  They’re often scared and upset.  That doesn’t mean they’re rabid.

The owner says her cat was current on her rabies vaccine.  Not that anyone at the shelter bothered to check before the looks-like-rabies diagnosis condemned the cat to a swift death.

AC is conducting an internal investigation of the matter.

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14 Comments

  1. Lynn

     /  September 30, 2010

    Oh COME ON!! Really?? what the bleep is going on lately? The owner was picking the cat up the next day, and they kill it!??????

    I am SO disgusted here once again by the lack of compassion and common sense. This should NOT happen and it’s wrong. Someone needs to be held accountable for this wrong action.. how sad for the owner.
    Makes me very angry at the same time.

    Let’s write to the idiot who did this and let them know we are not happy and they made a huge mistake there!

    Poor kitty..another reason to never let your cats roam outside. We never let ours become outdoor cats. This is yet another reason to protect them at all costs!

    Reply
  2. Lynn

     /  September 30, 2010

    Oh, And, this was all done within a 24hr period! Couldn’t they wait a little longer before deciding this awful fate for the cat? Besides the fact the owner WAS PICKING the cat up the NEXT DAY!!!

    morons….cruel human beings.

    Reply
  3. Susan

     /  September 30, 2010

    Horrifying.
    I hope these people don’t have pets of their own.

    Reply
  4. Aren’t animals that are killed due to suspected rabies supposed to be sent for testing to the state lab?

    Reply
  5. Susan Ruderman

     /  September 30, 2010

    Maybe I am being terribly naive here (entirely possible!), but is there some way that microchips could incorporate a restraining order or other binding instrument that prohibits their killing the animal until the owner has consented? Or offers indemnity in the unlikely event that indeed the animal has rabies? Now I know that plenty of pets aren’t microchipped–and that plenty of shelters and ACOs either don’t check for a microchip or do a bad job of scanning–but if there were some way of letting untrained or evil staff know that killing this particular owned animal might have consequences, perhaps that could raise the standard of care for all animals.

    Reply
  6. And the idiot isn’t fired for this? Of course not…

    Reply
  7. Alyssa

     /  October 1, 2010

    I can see in the video that the cats had info sheets on the cages, so how hard is it to take some tape and a piece of paper and write “owner picking up” on the paper and put it on the cage info sheet? Or a postit note on the computer, near the phone, somewhere that someone else would see it??? Clearly, owners need to stalk animal control and shelter workers to ensure that their pets are not killed. And what about a stray holding period? Or a rabies quarantine and observation period? If an animal is already showing signs of rabies, then other symptoms will show within a 10 day quarantine. But this shelter probably does not have time for that. How awful!!

    Reply
  8. Matt

     /  October 1, 2010

    In the last 30 years there have been more cases of humans carrying rabies than cats….yet every one worries about cats…..we humans are dummies who need to read more, and watch American Idol less.

    Source for rabies statistics: Nathan Winograd

    Reply
  9. Susan

     /  October 1, 2010

    I know plenty of cats that act pissy even outside of shelters. What a load of BS.

    I wish they would put more effort into devising a non-fatal rabies test. Even if it were costly, I’m sure many owners would not hesitate to pay rather than lose their pet.

    And while I do not want to blame the owner for this murder, I am emphatically a believer that cats have longer, safer lives when indoors. I don’t buy the “oh, but their quality of life…” My dogs would love to run free, too, but I don’t allow it. All of my cats have lived spoiled, indulged lives indoors, lots of affection and attention, toys, safe from cars, vicious animals, animal control, and nasty neighbors. We’ve even spread birdseed near the windows so they had a more interesting view. I think they had/have a fine quality of life.

    Reply
    • In fairness to the owner, I don’t think the article states she let her cat roam. I remember some wording like “the cat got loose”. So possibly this is a case of an indoor cat slipping through a door when someone turned away for a second. I don’t know.

      Reply
      • The owner replies in the comments to the story. Indoor cat who accidentally got out the back door.

    • Susan, did you read the news story, and the comments? This was an indoor cat, who got out accidentally. If an indoor cat getting out accidentally is something that has never happened to you, you are fortunate, and I hope you continue to be fortunate. It has happened to me, not often, but as this case demonstrates, once can be enough to produce a tragedy.

      Shame on you for attempting to shift blame to the grieving owner.

      Reply
      • Susan

         /  October 2, 2010

        Lis, I refer you to my comment. “And while I do not want to blame the owner for this murder…” I agree, it is NOT her fault that A/C negligently (if that term is strong enough) killed her cat. But it seemed an appropriate time to mention my view about letting cats roam. I thought my intro sentence was disclaimer enough.

  10. Incompetence and spitefulness must be job qualifications for shelter employees.

    Reply

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