This is a rather tortuous saga but it can be simplified. The bottom line is that the Gloucester County Animal Shelter, NJ were allegedly in violation of a local law which requires that cats taken into their shelter must be held for seven days before euthanasia and it does not make any difference if the cat is surrendered or not or if the cat is deemed aggressive et cetera.
This shelter deliberately killed a ginger cat called Moe the day after he entered their shelter. It appears they misunderstood the law but to cover their tracks they said Moe was aggressive. This is the usual excuse. We have heard it before.
As a result of this unnecessary killing, the father of the Moe’s owner allegedly threatened the shelter. We don’t know what he said but he was obviously livid with the shelter’s apparently callous attitude. This shelter has a bad record for high kill rates indicating a poor attitude.
What happened was as follows:
Moe was adopted as a kitten by a couple who were engaged to be married: Stephanie Radlinger and Mike Sedges. Moe was microchipped in both their names. The couple split and Moe lived with Stephanie.
Moe went missing one day and was picked up by county animal control and taken to the Gloucester shelter. Moe was scanned for a microchip and Mike Sedges was contacted by the microchip company (24PetWatch) and informed that Moe was at the shelter. Shortly after Stephanie was contacted as well.
Mike went to the shelter to identify Moe. They gave him the choice to take him home or surrender him which would let Stephanie adopt him. That was a bizarre suggestion as Stephanie was already the owner. This is something I don’t understand. However Stephanie was contacted by the shelter to adopt Moe.
She completed the necessary paperwork and waited for approval. Shortly afterwards she was informed that Moe had be killed. In fact he had been killed before she had completed the adoption papers.
The shelter supervisor told her that Moe was put down because he was very aggressive. However, Moe was not an aggressive cat.
“When I filled out the application, he was already put down…The supervisor told me he was very aggressive with the two vet techs who tried to assess him.” Stephanie said.
In fact when Mike Sedges went to the shelter to see Moe, Moe acted in a very calm and pleasant manner:
“When I was in the room with the cat it seemed like the same nice animal, a little skinnier, but it was rolling on its back and stretching and being a goofball,” Sedges claimed.
One of the shelter staffers had decided to kill Moe. You get a hint at the lack of organisation and coordination and also the lack of knowledge of the law at this shelter. I make that assessment from the facts of the story as presented online.
The law that governs this shelter is clear. Moe should have been held for seven days and it is irrelevant if he was aggressive or surrendered.
The law has been amended to include the seven day wait period. It seems that the Gloucester County Animal Shelter were too in tune with the idea of killing cats and out of tune with the law and dare I say it common sense and decency.
This shelter’s kill rate is the highest in the state at 69 percent (for 2014). In 2013 their kill rate was 79%.
I don’t think Stephanie’s father is going to be prosecuted or charged for allegedly threatening the shelter. Although they may sue the shelter.
Stephanie’s application to adopt a cat from the shelter has been approved! She declined to adopt a cat. Surprised?
This story is about shelter staff mentality. If the mentality is careless and directed at killing then this sort of tragedy might happen. Conversely, if their is a genuine concern for the wellbeing and welfare of cats in their care then there is almost a zero chance of “accidents” such as this occurring.
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