The most recent yearly report posted for Baldwin Co Animal Control facility in Alabama is 2012. That year, the county took in 2526 cats, killing 2304 of them – a kill rate of 91% for cats. Clearly killing is the default for cats at the Baldwin Co pound and it is a rare event for any cat to leave the facility outside of a garbage bag.
Tragically, as if there aren’t enough cats already being killed at the facility, the Foley police department traps cats upon request and takes them to the Baldwin Co pound.
Foley pet owner Diana Rohe thought her 10 year old cat named Kiki had gotten lost in January. She searched the neighborhood for weeks and offered a $1000 reward for Kiki, whom she had rescued as a kitten. It turns out, Ms. Rohe’s neighbor had complained to the Foley police about cats getting into trash cans and requested that traps be set. Kiki was caught in one of the traps, taken to the county pound and killed for “erratic behavior” although obviously her chances of being killed there were extremely high, all behavioral considerations aside, since she was a cat. The neighbor stood by in silence as Ms. Rohe searched for her pet. Ms. Rohe was unaware that traps had been set on the property.
This week, Ms. Rohe spoke before the Foley city council about the needless killing of her beloved pet:
“My cat lost her life because there is no warning from the city. There’s no kind of sign, there’s no kind of phone call, there’s no notice on the Internet, on a website or something to say, ‘We’re going to be setting traps in your area,'” Rohe said.
Rohe described her cat being “lured and tricked like a little kid with candy.”
“I’m just telling y’all my life has changed,” Rohe said emotionally. “I’m devastated over what she went through … They put her to sleep because she was so traumatized.”
Foley police chief David Wilson said that the officers will start putting up signs to notify residents when they have set traps for cats:
“I’ve apologized to her that her Kiki was put down like that,” he said. “You couldn’t have made this up. And we’re going take measure so it doesn’t happen again, at least like that.”
Maybe not exactly like that, but the pound’s statistics show that any cat brought in will most likely be killed. Putting up trapping signs for cat haters to rip down won’t force the county shelter to start doing its job. As it stands, the county is operating little more than a pet killing facility with regard to cats and the city of Foley should either demand that cats actually be sheltered or terminate the relationship with the pound. If Foley insists on trapping cats, the city has an obligation to take them to a safe place and the Baldwin Co pound is not safe for cats.
(Thank you Anne for sending me this story.)