Greenville: Justifying the euthanasia of a cat within 72 hour holding period

Midnight euthanized too hastily?
Midnight euthanized too hastily?
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Greenville Animal Protective Services have justified the killing of a cat within the 72-hour holding period. Midnight was a cat who escaped from his home on August 31st. He was returned to his family in a bag a few days later by Greenville Animal Protective Services. It is argued that Midnight was euthanized too hastily. He was denied his legal right to be held for 72 hours.

Midnight’s owners appointed an advocate to speak on their behalf. Her name is Marion Blackburn. She said:

“What happened to Midnight, a hasty euthanasia. Didn’t do any documentation for Midnight… Didn’t take pictures of Midnight, didn’t create a report and euthanized Midnight…Greenville has irregular and careless procedures. Lack of documentation, lack of transparency.”

Marion is convinced that the police who run Greenville Animal Protective Services have done wrong. She is convinced that they are in breach of the law.

In defence of what they did, the police confidently state that they followed all policies and procedures. Greenville police chief Mark Holtzman said:

“And everything we did in this particular case was found to be in the law. There was no collar. We checked for a microchip, no microchip. There were no reports of a missing cat… We did not violate the law and our facilities passed inspection – our manual passed, a facility inspection passed and the process and procedure that we used for euthanasia all passed… This is where the entire case ends. It’s finished.”

Midnight, was classified by the police as being in very bad condition. On a scale of 1 to 9 he was rated as 1. All these factors join together result they say in his euthanasia being justified.

Comment: Surely the 72-hour hold rule applies to all cats no matter what? It should be an absolute, inviolable rule.

There appears to be one weakness in their argument at least and it is this. The policy of the North Carolina Agricultural Department states that a shelter manager must be present when euthanizing a cat before the 72 hour hold period is over.

In the case of Midnight no shelter manager was present. The Department says that someone else was present who took the manager’s place and therefore it was all right. This appears to me to be a breach of regulations but it’s being glossed over.

It won’t be the first time that a lost or wandering cat has been euthanized hastily either because of a breach of procedures or because somebody somewhere made a decision that the cat should be euthanized and perhaps the person was under pressure for various reasons one of which might be an oversubscribed animal shelter together with compassion fatigue.


Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

4 thoughts on “Greenville: Justifying the euthanasia of a cat within 72 hour holding period”

  1. Some cat haters run shelters. I have heard cats referred to as vermin. I do hope the owners push and pursue this. I would love to see somebody fired over this. It would be nice to see some proof of the health of the cat, and as somebody said, was there a veterinarian who made a determination objectively for this cat health? Or just some subjective cat haters opinion.

  2. BTW I take it a state licensed veterinarian prepared that report on Midnight’s health issues that said he needed to be put down right away.

  3. My shelter told me they euthanize any cat they deem as feral. I’m pretty sure ALL cats are deemed as feral. The 72 hour hold is based on the idea that a cat or dog could get out and the owners away or not know right away. It’s a legal threshold that implies if you care about your pet you’re probably looking and we’re going to hold that animal for x amount of time to give you a chance to recover them. I hope Midniights owners sue. It won’t help this cat or the owners but it might put a stop to cat executions.

  4. Marianna sounds like she has the proper legal, ethical and moral grasp of this. I’ve even seen first hand one vet at an emergency hospital jump the gun on euthanizing a cat that really, REALLY should not have been. It was purely an ego-based, power trip action on her part and every time I think of it I feel sick. The Animal Control in Ventura county, Ca has also been callous and deadly toward most animals they have control over, especially cats (and except for pit bulls, of course.)

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