Credit Card Policy Kills Cat

If an Arizona Humane Society had had a better or more flexible credit card payment policy a cherished cat would not have been euthanized (actually killed) by the Society. This mini-tragedy comes down to facilities to pay for treatment and the attitude of staff to demonstrate some flexibility, compassion and common sense. It is a reflection on society and it is a harsh and unforgiving one sometimes.

Humane Society Kill Cat

This is not current news. The story in USA Today is dated: 12/28/2011. However the problems and attitudes behind the tragedy are timeless. As usual it is not all one-sided. Life is not black and white but grey. There is a lot of middle ground. For that reason the story is interesting.

Daniel Dockery (49), a heroin addict who has spent a lot of time in prison, raised a cat from kittenhood. He called his cat Scruffy. Scruffy helped him take control of his heroin addiction. He had formed a close bond with his 9 month old cat.

Scruffy was injured. I am not sure how. The injury was not life threatening. It was treatable. Dockery took his cat to the Humane Society’s Campus for Compassion for treatment. Note the word “compassion”. He could not pay personally but his mother could and she offered her credit card details over the phone or, failing that, to pay in cash within 24 hours.

This was unacceptable to the “compassionate” and “humane” society and they insisted Dockery sign over ownership of his cat on the basis that Scruffy would be treated and I presume rehomed. That must have been a tough decision for Dockery but he agreed for the sake of his cat.

Neither treatment nor rehoming happened. Scruffy was killed. Just another one of thousands. Although in defense the society’s Stacy Pearson said:

“The Humane Society took that cat with every intention of treating the cat and putting it in foster care”

That is the story in essence. There was a great willingness and decency about Dockery’s behavior. Not bad from a person who seems to be seen as “bad”. The people who are supposed to be seen as good, humane and compassionate were anything but. Things were turned upside down. This happens quite a lot in life. Things are not what they seem to be.

Dockery was distraught. He said:

“Now I’ve got to think about how I failed that beautiful animal,”

Another important aspect to this story is that animals can be so important to people who have difficulty relating to the human world.


Associated: No Kill Shelter Problem – long term cats in cages.
Photo: Humane Society table by heypatrick – inset picture of Dockery claimed fair use as no commercial impact on copyright holder.

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Credit Card Policy Kills Cat — 6 Comments

    • Yes, and there are hundreds of thousands of cat tragedies every week, month or year. It is all out there. I am sure that right now something similar is happening somewhere.

  1. This is terrible! That poor chap, yes he’s an addict and been in prison but who knows what drove him to that life.
    He must basically be a decent human being because he loved Scruffy and he cared enough to sign him over so that he could get treatment, so how heartless that the cat was killed by people who are supposed to be humane.
    Money seems to be the first thought of too many people now, whatever happened to compassion and helping each other when it’s possible?

  2. I remember this story very well – it’s so sad and he must be heartbroken even still now. So sad and horrible and poor little kitten. I bet he loved that kitten more than anything.

    • Yes, I think it is particularly poignant because Dockery made a connection that was beneficial to him and he seems to have failed to do that with people.

  3. Yes, this is tragic.
    The HSUS claims to only operate no-kill shelters, saying that they only euthanize animals if they are too seriously ill or injured to recover.
    However, our local HS has a contractual agreement with our county shelter to do the deeds under other circumstances. Thus, they dump animals at the shelter to relieve their overcrowding or rid themselves of those who have not been adopted within a certain timeframe (which they don’t divulge). This is how they deceitfully keep there claim of being “no-kill”. This is, precisely, why I am no longer a member or contributor. I didn’t learn of their practices until about 5 years ago. Most of the general public here has no clue.

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