NJ Pound Kills Owned, Microchipped Cat Upon Impound

Photo from the Justice for Moe page on Facebook.
Photo from the Justice for Moe page on Facebook.

Warning:  There are images of a deceased cat at the links.  They are not graphic but still very sad.


In 2013, an engaged couple adopted a kitten from a NJ shelter and named him Moe. They completed the adoption paperwork jointly.  After the couple separated, Moe remained with owner Stephanie Radlinger. Moe’s microchip contact information was for Ms. Radlinger’s ex-fiance Mike Sedges. So when Moe got lost and was impounded by the Gloucester Co pound on September 30, it was Mr. Sedges who received the call from the microchip company. He gave them Ms. Radlinger’s contact information and the company left a message for her right away. Then things got weird:

Sedges said a shelter worker called him the same morning, instructed him to come to the shelter to identify Moe, and either take him home or surrender the animal to the shelter.

If he failed to do either within seven days, he would be charged with animal neglect, Sedges claims an animal control officer told him.

By 10:30 a.m., he was in Clayton filling out paperwork and paying the $10 surrender fee. Sedges was of the understanding surrendering the cat to the shelter would make it easier for Radlinger to readopt the cat, he claimed.


“When I was in the room with the cat it seemed like the same nice animal, a little skinnier, but it was rolling on its back and stretching and being a goofball,” Sedges claimed.

That afternoon, Ms. Radlinger picked up the message from the pound and immediately called to reclaim her cat.  She says a staff member instructed her to complete an adoption application and, if approved, pay $95 to adopt her own cat.  She did as she was told.  But Moe was already dead – killed by the shelter staff for behavior.  NJ law requires shelters to hold all animals for at least 7 days.  Moe was held for less than one.  Ms. Radlinger is heartbroken:

“The situation doesn’t make sense to me,” Radlinger, of Stratford, told the Courier-Post. “I thought the microchip was the safeguard against these things.”

Yeah, so they like to say.

Gloucester Co spokeswoman Debra Sellitto told the local paper that killing Moe “wasn’t a random decision.” That would seem to be true since last year, the Gloucester Co pound killed roughly 70% of its cats. Hard to call that random. More like Killing R Us.

Ms. Sellitto has more excuses in her hat too:

The shelter based ownership on the microchip information, according to Sellitto.

However, a microchip does not prove ownership under New Jersey law.

Oops. So that’s two violations of state law. Back to the hat:

“Since this incident, the animal shelter is going to be reviewing its procedures. If something is found to have been done improperly, staff persons will be dealt with accordingly,” Sellitto said.

IF something was done improperly?  Does she mean besides the two violations of state law?  Sounds like Gloucester Co looks out for its own.  Has anyone checked under the sidewalks and parking lots lately?

Anyhoo, the Gloucester Co pound apparently felt this whole story was lacking in awful so they rectified that:

On Oct. 2, 24 hours after Moe was euthanized, shelter staff notified Radlinger by phone she was fit to adopt from the shelter.

She declined.

“I just wanted my cat they already put down.”

Oh hey, we killed your cat but we’ll let you buy another one.  Good things cats are interchangeable.  Otherwise shelter staff might have been embarrassed and ashamed to make that phone call.

Ms. Radlinger is sharing her story on social media in order to raise awareness about needless killings at the Gloucester Co pound.  She is reportedly considering a lawsuit against the facility.  I wish her all the luck in the world.

(Thank you for the links Clarice.)

15 thoughts on “NJ Pound Kills Owned, Microchipped Cat Upon Impound

  1. So how in the hell can they claim he was legally signed over to them when the man filling out the paperwork says he is not the owner the entire time? Even without the seven day hold law, it was illegal to kill Moe. Surrender paperwork is only valid of filled out and signed by the current owner, not former.

  2. This is my local shelter, and it’s a killing factory. They refuse adoptions to anyone who doesn’t make enough, wants to declaw, plans to let their cat outside, etc. Now, I’m absolutely against declawing and I believe cats should be indoor only…but when you’re KILLING 70% of the animals that enter your building, you need to loosen the rules and realize a less then ideal home is better then death. The shelter directer absolutely believes animals are better off dead then owned by most people…she could take over for PETA’s president. They also make you fill out an application before you can so much as look at their animals. Just another way to roadblock people and keep them from adopting.

    1. Supposedly two of the top animal control officers at the Glouc Co Shelter have been or are on the BOARD of the NJ Animal Control Officers’ Assoc. Wouldn’t they KNOW the statutes and laws???

  3. One of the commenters at the link says the shelter absolutely knew about the 7-day-hold rule:

    “Don’t forget to share and spread awareness- no shelter in NJ is above the law. How many other animals did they put down immediately and illegally and prevent someone from reuniting?
    The claim their unaware of the law- nonsense I was at a conference WITH their officers when this was discussed! (A few of them including Mr Lombardi)
    I have notes from the day- they are lying to cover their own disgusting decision to ignore the law!”


    1. Then they need to go to jail. It IS that simple, right? Openly breaking the law. Maybe they should start really showing their contempt & hatred for the law by just killing everything that comes through their doors.

  4. unfortunately suing the animal shelter will only result in less money for the poor animals in their care. This in turn will result in even more animals being killed.

    1. Not true JF this is a county shelter and a very wealthy county and the county would foot the bill from taxes. if this were an independently run impound facility vis a vis a facility run by a non profit then would say yes but no worries for this shelter under auspices of the county.

  5. They did the same thing here in MD to one of our cats that my Sister took to the pound being a Bitch. He was the lovingly Cat we ever had and he loved everyone, they didnt give us a chance to get him they put him to sleep for behavioral problems when all it was is he was scared. He had never been in that type of situation and he was probably scared to death. They didnt know him and they should have waited till he calmed down. We got one Cat back but not the other. when my Mom called me and told me I went into the Ladies Room at work and cried my eyes out. I got tears now just thinking of the poor baby being scared and some sick F-ing kill happy jerk needling him. It has been many yrs since that and it still kills me to think of it and I have never forgiven my Sister for it either, I dont think I ever can. I think some of these shelter people are the most heartless people there are out there. Unless an Animal is on its deathbed, and even then I have trouble, how can you look that baby in the eye and do what you are going to do without being a heartless person. And dontgive me that crap about over run and blah blah blah….. I call BS on that stuff. Sick people in the world that get pleasure oit of destroying the Earths babies and they need help mentally.

  6. I just came across this article. A lawsuit has been filed. But I’m still trying to spread awareness regardless through Facebook. The page is called Justic for Moe. Please like and share it… So that this doesn’t keep happening.. 😔

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