The Irresponsible Public Comes Through When Pound Manager Fails to Protect the Human-Animal Bond

Last year the Everett Animal Shelter in Washington “rescued” 110 cats and kittens from a 32 foot trailer and killed them all.  And the response to panleukopenia at the facility has been mass killing.  It’s not a good place for cats.

Kali, as pictured on the website of the Everett Herald.
Kali, as pictured on the website of the Everett Herald.

Lisa Shelly, an area resident, has been struggling to keep her family together.  Her husband suffers from some very serious medical issues and she has been unable to find work.  The family lost their apartment 2 years ago along with most of their personal possessions.  They’ve been living in week-to-week motels and do not have a car.  At Christmas, all Ms. Shelly’s 9 year old son Ronan wanted was a kitten.  His Christmas wish came true and he named her Kali.

Kali recently got out through an open window and Ms. Shelly began looking for her immediately.  She eventually learned that Kali had been impounded by the Everett Animal Shelter.  Ms. Shelly went to the pound to reclaim Kali but was told she’d have to pay $205 to get her pet back.  She didn’t have the money:

“I had to come home without her,” Shelly said, and tell her son she couldn’t get Kali back. “He cried so hard.”

When contacted by the local paper, the pound manager was all about the law:

Dee Cordell, the operations coordinator for the Everett Animal Shelter, said $165 of the fee is charged by Snohomish County, because Kali came from an unincorporated part of the county. The remainder covers the shelter’s costs of getting the cat spayed, vaccinated and tagged with an identification chip.

“By law cats need to be licensed. Since the cat was not spayed and not chipped, the fee is $40,” Cordell said.

A local blogger pointed out that under the Everett municipal code, the manager is “authorized to reduce or waive any fee” except the licensing fee.

But since the manager was apparently uninterested in getting Kali back with her boy, Ms. Shelly enlisted the help of a friend to set up a donation page for the redemption fee.  After the story ran in the local paper, people began donating.  And they continued to give, long after the $205 was raised.  Because irresponsible public.

Thank you once again to the unwashed masses for protecting the human-animal bond, getting a beloved pet reunited with her family and for generally being an alright sort.  Now if Everett taxpayers had some people like that working at the shelter, the community might really shine.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

6 thoughts on “The Irresponsible Public Comes Through When Pound Manager Fails to Protect the Human-Animal Bond


  2. so many $helter$ seem to be MORE interested in killing pets, and of course in $$$$ than in actually SHELTERING animals or reuniting them with their owners.

  3. as someone who has worked with poor children living under difficult circumstances I feel for this child. a pet is a comfort and a responsibly at the same time.. a learning experience and a way to earn that life is not all bad. except for course when you have “shelter” workers like this.. what a lesson..

  4. The fees at publicly funded animal shelters are like sales taxes: regressive, because as a proportion of total income, they fall hardest on the poor. So to me, this is not just about a bureaucratic, cruel shelter manager. It’s also about the way the system charges the same from everybody, and thus demands money from the poorest pet-owners that they can ill afford, and kills or adopts away the pet if the owner simply can’t come up with the fees.

    But then, we’re a nation that funds public education through property taxes, thus guaranteeing that children in poor neighborhoods will have poor schools. So it follows that we would set up our animal shelter system in such a way that poor pet-owners are punished for being poor.

  5. I agree with izzyvanover’s comment: Animal Control has hijacked the word shelter – we need sanctuaries not shelters. Monsters are among us.

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