The right to seize an FIV+ cat is going to be a disturbing story. I want the readers at PoC to read this and then come back to this page for discussion. It’s at — the page at the website bluedogstate.com, is broken at Nov 2012 so it has been removed. Sorry for that.
In a nutshell, a cat owner from Albany County, New York adopted an FIV+ cat from a shelter. The cat quit eating and the owner and his sister took the cat to the vet. Although the cat wasn’t in distress, the vet recommended euthanasia because of the FIV. The vet called the police as soon as the owners headed home with their cat.
Keep in mind the cat had food, water, shelter and love. The cat just wouldn’t eat. And the call was made to the police before the owners had time to seek a second opinion from another vet. Police arrived, seized the cat without any kind of legal documents and took it back to the vet who blew the whistle. The cat was euthanized, thus destroying any evidence on the condition of the cat.
The vet wants the owners charged with animal cruelty for not agreeing to the euthanasia in the first place. The state of New York doesn’t have a mandatory euthanasia law. Should the owners be convicted, their name and photo will go onto a registry listing them as animal abusers. They’re also facing jail time and a fine. All because they chose to take their cat home rather than kill it.
The concept of animal cruelty hinges on malice.
Perhaps this FIV+ cat had a tummy ache. Or maybe it was too hot to eat. We’ll never know because the evidence died with the cat. The vet who murdered this cat has stated that people who wait until an animal is so sick that death is the only option should be charged with animal cruelty.
How many vets feel this way? We could all be in trouble if the majority of vets think like this one. Many animals become seriously ill overnight. Panleuk and parvo are both fast killers. If a dog or cat dies from one of these illnesses, should we, the owner, face charges? What will this do to our frame of mind to seek veterinary advice if we’re afraid of being turned in?
What will this line of thinking do to those who wish to adopt an FIV+ cat? After reading the original case about the cat who was seized and killed may sway many from taking that risk. Because eventually an FIV+ cat may become ill and treatment must be sought.
This means a lot more cats will die unadopted, including those with other disabilities. I critisize the actions of this vet because it took the right to die with dignity away from the cat owners. It also took away the right to live until such time the cat was truly suffering.
I think it’s sad when a member of the veterinary profession goes on a vigilanty justice mission. I’m also thankful I haven’t met any vets who fall into this category.