Owned Cat Trapped by Police, Taken to Cat Killing Facility

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.

Kiki, as pictured on al.com.
Kiki, as pictured on al.com.

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.)

17 thoughts on “Owned Cat Trapped by Police, Taken to Cat Killing Facility

  1. what would happen if we eliminated shelters and just let the rescues take over? How much worse could it possibly BE.

  2. Cats in general have a very low reclaim rate. I think most people still consider animal control as “dog pound” and forget cats may end up there as well. Microchipping all pets and ear tipping (for ferals) can help prevent euth SOMETIMES….if the agency scans that is. Amending local ordinances regarding cat impounds can sometimes be the fastest way to address these issues. Some AC shelters have stopped impounding cats because of the liability of bite issues (cats can be trickier than dogs to impound and ALL cats can appear feral if you stress and freak them out enough). Sometimes it’s more cost effective for local municipalities to simply stop impounding cats in their AC shelters (especially when they are sub par for handling cats). When you see high euth rates in cats like that, it’s obvious that facility lacks training. In communities where cats are NOT required to follow leash laws, then AC really has no business picking up cats at the rate of these numbers because there is something very wrong here. In my personal opinion, when i see numbers like this, the first thing that comes to mind is “no cat people with that agency”. those numbers are crazy and very sad. they would spend less if they offered community spay/neuter program vs all those euthanasias and disposal. unless it’s just a slick way to justify need for county/city to have pay roll for so many people on staff…..nothing surprises me these days.

  3. does that AC facility plan their annual budget by impound numbers? also, does that shelter have a contract with companies like Bio-tech who purchase euthanized cats for research projects? those type companies pay $10 per euth cat. you may find that there is an ulterior motive at that shelter related to budget allocation or additional revenue with non traditional outcome like research. money is usually the root. maybe i’ve just become jaded lol but i see so much shady operations in animal welfare these days it’s disappointing.

  4. This is happening everywhere! Neighbors will trap cats and take them to high kill shelters KNOWING who owns them. These shelters do not even have hold times for cats!! They are just killed!! This has to stop immediately. Even in counties where cats are considered ‘free roaming’, the shelters happily accept them and then kill them. Stop the madness!! Fight for the rights of cats!!

  5. You’re right Novette, neighbors are OFTEN times the ones turning other neighbor’s cats in. Nothing irritates me as much as hearing someone say “they kill all the birds”! 1. They do not (humans account for most danger towards birds with autos and chemicals etc) and 2. We allow humans to hunt….cats are natural predators/hunters…..but sometimes catch more grief about birds from people who also hunt wild game.

    1. Disgusting on all fronts; a neighbor who “stands by” while cat guardian frantically searches for her kitty; trappers who love to kill cats (oh, yes, they do); and a facility that murders without compunction because cats are expendable (to them).
      And Joan S., good point about the hunters. The same people who protest that cats kill waaaay too many song birds, wildlife, (and small children?) and hawks kill too many rabbits, etc., are only worried that the cats, hawks, etc. are taking more than their fair share.

  6. There are registered class A and class B dealers in AL and the universities purchase deceased animals from dealers for research and learning etc . With super high cat euth rates like that, I can’t help but wonder who has a contract with bio research company. It’s likely there’s a connection.

  7. My local shelter has about a 75 % kill rate with cats –at least that is what they are willing to admit publicly. I wonder if there is any way to find out about them going to animal research. As I have mentioned b4 they are a non-profit that contracts with the city for AC services and are not obligated under state public laws to release info. Also the city has a leash law that makes trap-neuter- release unlawful. But does the shelter work to change those laws –not one bit here in rural NE. There is a real sickness working here with these shelters that get to call all the shots.

    1. lol, right. Because a place that’s putting more than 9 out of every 10 cats they get into the dumpster is surely scanning for microchips and notifying owners.

      1. I reckon soon we’ll see exhortations for us all to chip our cats every year, say, so there’s always a chip in the ‘right’ place, or chip multiply so there’s a chip from every major manufacturer, and then have them test-scanned at the vet’s twice a year. Or add ear tattoos. Or embed our address in LED lights in their skin. Or maybe we should just train our cats to repeat their addresses when stressed, though I imagine then we’ll be blamed if they lisp.

        Because it’s just too much to ask that public shelters behave responsibly, and hey, it’s all our fault anyway. They killed our cats because they loved them and we didn’t, after all.

      2. Eucritta– LED lights in their skin… lol… but of course , they would then have to be killed ’cause of the demons inhabiting their bodies..

  8. Not only do humans legally kill various animal species for the joy of it, they get to brag about it. On the other hand, in some communities compassionate individuals are criminalized for feeding feral cats. Does anyone know if such ordinances have ever been tested in the courts?

    Also, it seems to me cities are quick to create ordinances against cats after only a couple of complains from anti-cat Nazis. I definately think there should be ordinances against being anti cat. After all, the most dangerous predator on earth is a human without a conscience.

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