A ‘health issue’ meant Animal Control dumped road kill cat on landfill

This tabby cat fell through the cracks in the procedures governing animal control services in Newfoundland, Canada. There are lessons to be learned.

George a cat killed on the road and thrown on landfill

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Megan LeRoux let her five-year-old tabby cat, George, roam outside. Megan was feeling unwell and confined to her home. She heard from a friend that a cat had been killed on the road. Megan did not think it was her cat.

George failed to turn up for a few days so she became concerned that the cat killed on the road was George. She inquired at the town hall and learned that the cat had been disposed of at the local landfill site where the huge amount of rubbish is compacted.

It transpired that George had been chucked onto the landfill site. Megan dreams of George and it hurts her to realise he is buried amongst piles of household rubbish. It is particularly tough for her because George wore an ID tag. He could and should have been returned to her. It is impossible now to recover him.

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Normal procedures were not followed. When cats are killed on the road Animal Control are informed who check the ID of the cat and where one exists the cat is returned to the owner when possible.

In this case, a resident had taken George from the road and placed his body in a plastic bag. George had been badly injured and there was lots of blood.

The Animal Control officer could not respond initially but when he turned up to collect George’s body he did not check for an ID tag because of ‘health issues’. He needed to wear protective clothing which he did not have at the time. The person who had bagged up George did not mention to Animal Control that the cat was identified.

So, Animal Control did not properly check George for a form of identification and it seems carelessly decided to throw him away on landfill.

The better course of action would have been for either (1) the Animal Control officer to have asked the resident to confirm that the cat had an ID tag and ask him/her to check or (2) get his health and safety clothes and check himself (3) or take George to a vet to scan for a microchip or find the tag.

It must be very distressing for Megan. Emotionally she’ll have a difficult time dealing with it (if she is the caring type). Although George was killed on a busy road and Megan must have known that he was at risk. I am afraid she contributed to his death. That may hurt her too.

Multiple human error caused this unfortunate outcome.

Source: The Telegraph. The photo is by Megan LeRoux I believe.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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5 Responses

  1. FRANCES A DANNA says:

    No matter how or why it happens, my heart breaks for all the animals that suffer and die a traumatic death in this way. ??

  2. @ A.C.O no pet parent deserves ye kind of apathy,ye sort had ye said that to my face ye would find yeself in a painful position and with that said I’m also pissed that the owner didnt believe her friend when she called to tell her that her cat had been killed and was on the side of the road,after her cat not showing up for a few days (a few days????) then she found out it was her cat that was tossed in the landfill.

  3. M E King says:

    When you let your cats roam they pay the price. I am also out of sympathy for people who let their dogs and cats roam and then cry when the animal is killed on the road or simply vanishes.
    On the contrary to the AC officer mentioned above I would have taken the time to make sure the animals owner knew they died. But I would have not a good word for the failed guardians to take comfort in.

  4. A.C.O. says:

    In the recent inimitable words of one female animal-control officer, “I have seen so many road-kill cats in my lifetime that I now have absolutely no sympathy for those who claim to love cats yet have no problems throwing their own cats to their deaths. They got exactly what they deserved.”

    This will help you to understand why law-enforcement also doesn’t care at all anymore what happens to cats. Cat owners don’t care one bit, why on earth should they.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Well, your comment is very poor. This Animal Control officer has the responsibility to see to it that this cat was given back to his owner. He failed in that task. What the owner did in letting her roam was stupid but not illegal. You can’t divert blame away from Animal Control. They made a mistake.

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