You don’t have to be nationally recognized as a feline behavior expert to know that if you box up a cat, take him to a pet killing facility and leave him surrounded by the smells and sounds of despair and death, the cat is not going to be in the mood to play tea party. Any cat owner could tell you this. So one would think that people working in an animal shelter would know this fo shizzle. And yet DOT DOT DOT.
A good Samaritan named Alexis Boyett took in a stray cat, named her Pesh, fed, tamed, played with and loved her for six months and had her spayed. When Ms. Boyett felt Pesh was ready for a permanent home, she called the Hawaii Island Humane Society in Keaau to inquire about surrendering a cat for adoption. She felt reassured after speaking with shelter staff and made the very difficult decision to take Pesh to the shelter so she could get the permanent home she deserved.
Ms. Boyett says she made it “very clear” to shelter staff that there was no way she wanted Pesh to be killed. If killing became a consideration, she told them to call her and she would pick Pesh up. She tearfully said goodbye, leaving Pesh’s favorite toys with her, believing Pesh would be sheltered.
Shortly after Ms. Boyett left, staff at the Hawaii Island Humane Society killed Pesh. No one bothered to call Ms. Boyett. In fact, it was she who called the shelter the next day to find out how Pesh was doing only to find out the cat was dead. She was given no reason for the killing. Then the local paper got involved:
In a statement to the Tribune-Herald, HIHS Executive Director Donna Whitaker said Pesh’s “behavior did not meet socialization standards.”
HIHS evaluates and tests arriving animals “as soon as possible,” Whitaker said in the statement, and feral cats and “cats that are not socialized” are euthanized “as soon as practicable,” contingent on staff availability.
So basically, despite all standards of care and common sense, the Hawaii Island Humane Society forces newly impounded, scared cats out of their cages as soon as a cat death sentencer becomes available, requires the cats to play tea party and when they don’t, kills them as soon as a cat killer becomes available. And going by the stats, a cat killer seems to be available pretty regularly:
Statistics show HIHS, an open-admission shelter that accepts all animals regardless of breed, age or other factors, euthanized about 80 percent of its 6,568 cats in 2015.
[A]t least 75 percent were feral or “unhealthy,” the society reports[.]
Like Pesh, I guess.
The Hawaii Island Humane Society holds a nearly $2 million AC contract with the county. That contract reportedly does not specify any holding period. So it’s a pretty sweet get cat/deem feral/kill/collect $2 million scam they got going there. I wonder how the local taxpayers enjoy being defrauded by this “humane society”.
Speaking of which, the newspaper reached out to Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director of the Humane Society of the United States, one of the major players trying to reduce/eliminate holding periods for shelter cats nationwide:
She thinks Boyett’s incident could be a learning opportunity and a chance to make changes.
“We need public trust and confidence in the local shelters,” Gibson said. “So we encourage shelters to always be evaluating and reevaluating their policy or protocols. Regardless of the details, should something have been done different to prevent this?
Just to be clear, the “details” of this case, which Gibson so readily dismisses, involve the needless killing of a loved cat who had a safe place to go. But yeah, let’s have a beer summit and discuss whether something should have been done differently. Because I mean, the place is killing 80% of its cats as quickly as they can get them from the front door to the kill room so you know, it’s a head-scratcher.
And while yammering rhetorical, Gibson takes time to spank the good Samaritan:
And Boyett relinquished her legal rights to Pesh when she surrendered her, Gibson said.
“It’s standard practice. When someone surrenders, they won’t be contacted,” she said. “That’s why (surrendering) is a pretty serious decision.”
Yeah I hate the way that lady took in a stray cat even though she couldn’t keep her long term, got her spayed, took care of her and taught her that human beings are nice then flippantly made a call to the shelter to verify the cat would be put up for adoption, packed up her toys and brought her to a place she thought was a safe haven so she could find a permanent home. Only a terribly insincere person would do all those things. Thanks for pointing that out, HSUS.
(Thanks Anne for posting this link in the Open Thread.)