St Johns Co Oops-Kills Beloved Lost Cat Upon Intake

Tails having a birthday with his boy, as shown on the News4Jax website.

Tails having a birthday with his boy, as shown on the News4Jax website.

A neutered and declawed indoor cat named Tails became lost last week while the owners were having work done inside their Florida home.  Owner Chelsea Santoro began putting up Lost Cat posters around the neighborhood.  Unbeknownst to anyone, Tails had climbed into the engine compartment of a neighbor’s rental car.  Miraculously, Tails was unharmed despite riding on the engine for 12 miles while the neighbor returned the car to the rental agency. A worker there found the cat.

Before anyone knew who Tails belonged to, and believing the St Johns Co pound was the safest place to bring the pet so that he could be reunited with his owner, an employee at the rental car company contacted AC to turn Tails over.  Once the company connected the dots and determined Ms. Santoro was the owner, they let her know the good news about Tails:

Santoro was ecstatic.
“They told me stories about how they were cuddling with him, and playing with him, and how they made him a little bed.”

Ms. Santoro immediately called the pound to reclaim her pet.  But she was told that pound staff had killed Tails.  The impounding ACO, on the job for two years, wrongly listed Tails as an unneutered stray male cat.  Tails was killed upon intake.  Oops:

“Our initial inquiry into this incident indicates that the county’s policies and procedures were not followed, and there was no justification for the actions that occurred, said Michael Ryan, St. Johns County’s communication manager. “The issue is currently under investigation and the employee in question has been placed on administrative leave. Appropriate measures will be taken to prevent this from occurring again. The loss of a pet under any circumstances is tragic and our condolences are extended to the family.”

Ryan seems to have learned a thing or two since St Johns Co killed an owned, lost, microchipped dog named Baby Girl a few months ago.  At that time, he was all blame-the-filthy-owners-for-not-finding-their-dog-that-we-didn’t-bother-to-scan.  Now he’s singing the “it won’t happen again” tune although to be accurate, he should be saying “it won’t happen again, again” but that’s just me being picky probably.

Tails and his boy, as shown on the News4Jax website.

Tails and his boy, as shown on the News4Jax website.

Anyhoo, don’t criticize because we all want the same thing and if cat owners actually loved their pets then shelters would have a higher RTO rate and if only people would spay and neuter – oh, uh… never mind.

(Thanks Clarice for sending me this story.)

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12 Comments

  1. And now a family is devastated. That little boy will carry the pain and loss forever.

    THIS is why shelters need to SHELTER.

    I am so very sorry for this family.

    Reply
  2. davydsmith

     /  March 9, 2015

    How hard is it to NOT kill an animal on intake?

    Reply
  3. KateH

     /  March 9, 2015

    How hard is it to check that a cat doesn’t have testicles for dog’s sake!?! And that it doesn’t have claws? Two obvious signs that the cat had an owner, and that some time should be allowed for the owner to find the cat.

    “The issue is currently under investigation and the employee in question has been placed on administrative leave. Appropriate measures will be taken to prevent this from occurring again.”

    So what – exactly – will be the appropriate measures that will be taken?

    Reply
  4. FL has state mandated hold times. Even stray, unaltered cats fall under them. It was illigal for them to kill this car upon intake. But of course, the law doesn’t apply to them.

    But then, this hell hole skirts around the state ban on BSL by refusing to let the general public adopt “pitties”. They rather see them dead. That attitude expanded to the “disposable” cats isn’t surprising at all.

    Reply
  5. db

     /  March 9, 2015

    So why the h3ll would an unneutered stray cat be killed immediately? Come on, folks, stop.the.killing.

    Reply
  6. Karen F

     /  March 9, 2015

    Such an awful story. This face:

    Can you imagine having to tell the little boy?

    Reply
  7. This is the human cost of kill shelters.

    And this is why it is imperative that every shelter in this nation consider every, single animal that comes in their doors as a loved and wanted animal with an owner frantically searching for them. Because even if it’s only 1% of what comes in, to kill those pets is to hurt families, make children cry and ask over and over again, “Why?” and cause lasting pain and grief to people.

    This is the human cost of kill shelters.

    Reply
  8. caro

     /  March 9, 2015

    I hope they sue the hell out of them. a microchip and declaw. sick of this crap and a oh sorry afterwards no excuse for shoddy work. happens all over , every state.

    Reply
  9. caro

     /  March 9, 2015

    these shelters would not know a true feral if it bit them in the butt besides even if he was he is entitiled to a hold, they all lie and say it is law.. really look up countycode law sometime bet you will not even find a reference to the word feral. this is what I live through every day where I live they manufacture laws that simply do not exist. and even if feral , he may have been chipped and owned therefore, property.

    Reply
  10. spaycritter

     /  March 10, 2015

    All too common.. All too familiar..

    Reply

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