NC Pound Closes to the Public Due to Weather but Heroically Keeps Kill Room Open

little boy
Little Boy, as pictured on the ABC 11 website.

There are levels of appalling.  This story is all top tier appalling.  It’s the appallingest.

On Monday, January 18, Teresa Panameno let her cat outside.  Little Boy never came home.  He was trapped by a neighbor and Wake Co ACOs picked him up the next day.  Like many pets who get trapped by cat hating neighbors and taken to places that kill roughly half the cats they are supposed to be sheltering, Little Boy was not in a ball of yarn playing mood.  Instead of recognizing his behavior as normal under the circumstances, the Wake Co pound rushed to deem him unowned and unadoptable:

Dr. Jennifer Federico, Director of Wake County Animal Services told ABC11 that the cat was immediately deemed feral for his aggressive nature, and given the state-mandated stray hold of 72 hours.

Meanwhile Ms. Panameno continued searching for Little Boy, including looking at the animals listed on the Wake Co pound’s website. She finally saw his picture posted on the site on Thursday, January 21 and began calling the shelter.  No one was answering the phone so she sent an email.  But no one was answering emails either.  The office staff had gone home in preparation for a storm that was moving through the area.  The front office stayed closed on Friday due to inclement weather but Wake Co kept the kill room up and running for business as usual.  Little Boy was killed on Friday, while his owner was trying to get him back.

Someone from the pound finally answered Ms. Panameno’s email on Sunday, advising that her pet could not be handled at the time he was impounded, failing to mention that he had been killed while the place was closed to the public.  So the next day, Ms. Panameno drove to the pound, cat carrier in hand, to bring Little Boy home.  Gee, I bet that was a swell conversation to have.

But the director is all NO REGRETS:

Federico maintains the shelter followed procedure[.]
“It’s just sad all around,” Federico said.

Noooo.  When you wait by the mailbox for weeks for your Little Orphan Annie secret decoder ring and then it finally arrives and you figure out the special message Little Orphan Annie had for you was a crummy commercial, that’s just sad all around.  When you accept an owned pet from a cat hating neighbor, immediately label him unowned, then close for business due to weather but keep your kill room open, then fail to admit to the owner what you’ve done so that she walks into your facility full of hope, expecting to take her beloved family member home, that’s unconditionally appalling.  Your precious procedure sucks.  If you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

33 thoughts on “NC Pound Closes to the Public Due to Weather but Heroically Keeps Kill Room Open

  1. God, why wouldn’t they even TELL her that her cat was dead?

    Heartless. Just heartless.

    I hope she does take legal action. It’s the only thing that makes this type pay attention.

  2. Granted I am far from an expert on NC law, but I cannot believe that was legal. She seriously needs to rile a complaint with the state even if she can’t afford a lawyer.

    1. Alice, you simply would not believe the crap these shelters get away with, and Federico in particular. The things they do would get me charged with felony animal cruelty in a split second.

  3. Sounds like negligence & negligent infliction of emotional distress — might not win ultimately (tricky regarding animals) but great value in calling them to account. Sure hope somebody lets owner know about nearby lawyers willing to do the case. RIP Little Boy.

  4. This is sick, disgusting and lazy! Why are animal control/shelters always stocked with compassionless subhumans? And the ones who care and try to make a difference are bullied out? I would LOVE to work with animals every day!

  5. Heads need to roll . . . I hope this boy’s owner finds a lawyer who will do whatever can be done legally to hold the killers responsible. They aren’t compassionate with people so I’m not surprised they are also not compassionate about animals. They all need to do something like clean septic tanks, away from living beings.

    1. Rebecca, you must not live in North Carolina. The neighbor is within his/her rights if the animal is on his/her property. Federico has done much worse with impunity and is protected by the almost complete absence of animal protection legislation in this backasswards state. Here, if your asshole neighbor traps your animal and takes it to a high-kill shelter run by a fat fucking farce of a DVM who kills it at the first opportunity, it is entirely your fault.

      1. Susan, I live here and you are right it is a backwoods state when it comes to animal rights. Our own governor tried, but failed to help them. I think it’s all due to big Ag. Apparently when our state gets someone voted in they think they are suppose to die in office examples Virginia Foxx, Steve Troxler, Howard Coble who did die. I have lived here my whole life, but we have some of the most ignorant people in the U.S.!!

  6. All involved with this so-called ‘shelter’ should be fired. Volunteers should be working somewhere other than with animals. These people should have been reporting what was happening to the press. The vet should be reported for cruelty.

  7. This is heartbreaking and appalling! But can we also talk about the fact that outside is simply too dangerous for non-feral cats (in addition to being against the law in many areas)?! There is an endless amount of bad things that can happen to outdoor cats–cat-hating neighbors being just one of them. Cats should be inside with their people. Owner needs to take some responsibility for her role in this tragedy too. This is just another sad story about something bad happening to someone’s cat who has been let outdoors.

    1. I agree that cats are much better off indoors, but once that poor cat arrived at the facility, it was the facilities job to actually care for the cat. No doubt the owner would make a different decision if she had known, but the facility killed the cat. This is on them!

  8. What is wrong with the citizens of NC they need to ban together and call their state reps, their county reps, any one who is elected by the people of the state and demand ,that laws be sit in place to protect these animals while there at these shelters .ANY ANIMAL WILLL FREAK OUT IF THEY FEEL THREATHENED JUST AS HUMANS DO Why not spayed and neuter cats and set them free , It would cost much less to do prevent things and stop killing our animals –Maybe the FBI should include the shelters in their investigation of animal cruelty

  9. This is the worst thing i can imagine How and Why are Human beings so despicable!!!! i just don’t understand… If it would have been me id be in jail I would have taken a gun and shot someone!!

  10. Just horrific. I have an indoor/outdoor cat that I’ve adopted because my next door neighbor abandoned him when she moved away so now of course, I’ve fallen in love with him. I will make sure I put a collar on him just so something like this does not occur. I feel soooo bad for that poor woman and her beautiful kitty. People can be beyond evil. I hope karma fixes them good. Damn animal shelters.

  11. What people don’t know is that this owner did not begin looking for her cat for several days, that was her choice and no one else’s. His photo was on the shelters website, if she had looked she would have seen him. Additionally she could have come to the shelter to look for him, the shelter was open Tuesday, the day he came in, until Thursday; she knows where the shelter is because she has surrendered animals there before. Also notice her cat was not ear tipped, ear tipping tells animal control that the can is a managed outdoor animal and not just some wild cat. If she loved her cat why wasn’t he neutered and ear tipped??? Lastly those bashing the shelter have no clue what your talking about. Since the new director has been in place the euthanasia rate has decreased, more animals are leaving alive than they ever have before. Sad situation but totally preventable if she would have 1. kept her cat on her property, this particular area is plagued with stray cats hence why the neighbor had a trap, 2. Looked for her cat ASAP, 3. micro-chipped her cat so she would have been notified asap he was at the shelter

  12. How sadly, mistakenly one-sided this article is. I see nobody mentioning this woman waited three days to start looking for her cat after he had been online and at the shelter all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday while the shelter was open. Nor did they include the fact she surrendered 11 cats in 2014 to this same shelter and neighbors have filed 80+ complaints about the massive cat population at her property. Or the fact she openly admitted to having had tons of cats, but this one was one of the three she actually cared about, but not enough to have him microchipped or get a collar and tag for him. Convenient how all that is left out. It’s easy to spew hatred at a shelter you know nothing about. Just remember this: they only exist because of irresponsible pet owners such as this one. WCAC actually has very low euthanasia numbers thanks to their volunteer, foster and community outreach programs. Next time do some actual research before posting inflammatory stories.

  13. I love how people jump on the band wagon to bash the shelter director and the shelter when the owner failed to do a very simple thing that could have identified her cat immediately. The cat wasn’t microchipped. If he would have been, the shelter could have notified her they had him. Additionally, The owner knew her neighbor had a problem with cats roaming the neighborhood and yet the lady also admits to letting the cat out.

  14. First off..article starts off a definition of SHELTER. This is NOT the WCA Shelter but the WCA CENTER. By guidelines for a government based facility of its type, it is not a Shelter. Those that bash the center have no clue and maybe should go visit or meet the hundreds of volunteers. foster families and official rescues that pull animals out of the center on a daily basis. The staff there are ALL very much animal lovers and work tirelessly to help find every animal, with exception of those that come in too sick or are injured beyond promise of a meaningful life, to find a good home elsewhere. This center has won National Awards for being a leader among centers for finding ways to reduce euthanasia in animals. How do I know all wife and I have been fosters for 2 years now and currently have our 44th dog in our home now, a 9 mos old stray that was found along the road, emaciated, major skin issues and totally afraid of the world. Before we got her, the vets assessed her situation, cleaned her up, put her on medications, “chipped” her, and designated her as a foster/rescue. After only 2 weeks, her hair is growing back and she’s playing happily with our personal dogs..who are all rescues. To Joyce who posted on Feb 2nd, if you really love animals and want to help, I don’t know where you live, but take the time to “volunteer” at your local center. Centers like the WCAC are always looking for dog walkers, people to play with the cats and puppies, feed and clean etc. .or if you have the room and time, become a foster. If you live in the Raleigh area, please stop by and see exactly what goes on there before condeming the place. I have more concern about some of the people who posted the more hateful comments here without understanding both sides of the story. It’s a sad world we live in …

    1. Exactly. Federico has pitties at home. She is notoriously dog centric, as is this in tire shelter operation. But we have seen Federico in action against cats in the past, so the attempts to defend her decisions about this one poor cat fall flat. Funny to see how the minions have surfaced, all spouting the exact same story. I guarantee you they, like Ernie, are all dog people too.

  15. The shelter, Dr. Frederico included, does not purposely kill cats like these comments and this article suggest. Susan and Anne, you are horribly misinformed about our cat numbers. Fact: WCAC saved 200 adult cats through foster and 900 kittens. Everyone that is spewing filth is what we call a couch advocate. All air and no backbone. Do you really think people who work at the shelter like euthanizing animals? If you took off your pajamas, which is probably what you are wearing as you rage in the comment section, and went to the WCAC, you would find the most amazing people. The work till midnight to get cats, dogs, kittens, and critters out
    the door into foster. They take them home themselves to care for them and sometimes bottle feed them. You have to bottle feed a kitten every few hours for weeks. You have to stimulate their bellies shop they can pee. Those are the people you are talking about. You want to help the system and save lives? Get out of the comment section and put your money where your mouth is.

    1. Honey, rescuing cats from North Carolina kill shelters is my full-time job that I pay to do so don’t talk to me about volunteering, about shelters, about any of the patting-yourself-on-the-back crap you are trying to feed us. Like I said, I have seen Federico in action.

  16. If WCAC is notoriously dog centric then how can the euthanasia rate in the year 2013 at 70%for cats go to 28.6% month to date. Hmmm… seems to be cats and kittens are a priority as well as the TNR program implemented for those feral cats who can be handled and vaccinated safely and released as barn cats or community cats. I myself have participated in this TNR program and have 2 barn cats from WCAC fully vetted and tipped ear who otherwise would have been euthanized. WCAC’s stats can be viewed by all or requested as it is public information. 675 cats and 752 kittens were transferred to WCAC Rescue Partners in the year 2015 as compared to 894 dogs and 272 puppies transferred not to mention over 900 cats and kittens entered their foster program. Maybe it’s just me but I would say those are some life saving statistics. It is the responsibility of the owner that should be in question not the hard working and dedicated staff who have to clean up irresponsible owners mess.

  17. Lauren, I’ve bottle fed plenty of kittens. I’ve also TNRed hundreds of cats since I started in 2002, and I paid for most of them out of my own pocket. Many of the commented here volunteer at shelters and some even work at shelters. It is good that there are hard-working, dedicated people at WCAC, but they did not save Little Boy, and they could have.

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