Things to do when a Good Samaritan brings a kitty into your animal shelter:
- Ask the finder the location where the pet was found.
- Get kitty vaccinated, scanned for a microchip, photographed and logged into your records system. Get him set up in a cage where every visitor to the shelter can see him.
- Upload kitty’s photo, description and area where found to your shelter’s website, Facebook page, and any other social media accounts.
- Assume the cat is a lost pet and start reviewing your shelter’s current lost cat reports as well as Craigslist and the Facebook page for lost pets in your area. Contact all owners whose descriptions even vaguely match the kitty.
- Let your ACOs in the field know that anyone going by the area where the cat was found needs to look for Lost Cat fliers and knock on some doors.
- Hold the kitty at your shelter for the period mandated by state law.
- If no owner reclaims him, contact anyone who expressed interest in adopting him during his hold period and offer him for adoption.
These tasks clearly take several days and possibly longer to complete. But the first five should generally be completed within the cat’s first hour or two at the shelter.
Kaitlyn Hughes gave her cat Porkchop a bath one day in January. Porkchop was a neutered, vaccinated orange tabby cat. The next day, he slipped out the door without the owner realizing it as she left her apartment. When she returned home, she figured out what must have happened. Ms. Hughes put out wet and dry food, water, a toy, and a pair of her shoes hoping to attract Porkchop. She searched the apartment complex where they lived and began putting up fliers. A neighbor told her the next morning that he had mistaken Porkchop for a stray and taken him to the Mobile Co pound. Ms. Hughes immediately went to the pound to reclaim her pet. It turns out, the Mobile Co pound killed Porkchop less than 10 minutes after receiving him from the Good Sam.
I don’t see any possible explanation for this killing other than someone at the Mobile Co pound was eager to kill Porkchop. There is no way anyone can claim they did everything they could for him – indeed, they appear to have done nothing at all for him. I don’t think it’s reasonable to consider the possibility that there was some sort of clerical error or other mix up. Porkchop was only alive at the pound for a few minutes, hardly enough time to get him confused with another cat. Nor do I think laziness is a plausible explanation. We have heard sometimes that shelter staff are too lazy to set up a cage for an incoming pet so instead of doing their job, they will simply take the pet to the kill room. But in Porkchop’s case, immediate action was taken upon his arrival which doesn’t strike me as the behavior of a lazy person. I would posit that whoever killed Porkchop was very eager to do so and the swift death could possibly be described as a thrill kill. No other explanation strikes me as plausible.
But don’t criticize shelter workers because we all want the same thing and nobody wants to kill pets and people don’t spay-neuter…
Ms. Hughes was understandably distraught over the needless killing of her beloved pet. Someone at the pound suggested she take home another orange tabby, because he looked just like Porkchop. Animal Services=Family Services. Which part of that equation does the Mobile Co pound not get?
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)