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.