There’s a mystery surrounding the death of a one-year-old cat named Penny who was identified as afraid, who was recently euthanized at a North Carolina shelter. According to “Harnett Hawk” (see comment on this page), two volunteers petted her without incident. Shelter staff interacted with her without incident for about two weeks according to staff. Apparently the shelter decided automatically to kill any cat they feel can be described as “semi-feral” or “feral” in retaliation for the discussion of Penny’s death on a Facebook page (see below).
Penny came into the Harnett County Animal Shelter in Lillington as a scared cat. There are two versions on why she was killed, according to Friends of Harnett County Animal Shelter, a Facebook group not affiliated with the shelter but trying their best to save the cats there. Penny was killed either because her time was up or because she had bitten a shelter worker, depending on which version of the story you believe.
Regardless, the shelter has now made the decision to no longer allow rescue groups to come into the shelter and save feral cats. This means any cat deemed feral will be killed there without a chance to go to a loving home. Keep in mind many cats act out when they’re terrified and thrown into a cage and hear dozens of dogs barking in the background. Yet if a stray or family cat, who is lost, is determined by staff to be feral, it will likely be killed.
The shelter director points the blame toward the Harnett County Commissioners. Friends of Harnett County Animal Shelter released a statement explaining the situation, which animal advocates are trying to put a stop to.
“The shelter manager says that this decision was made by the County Commissioners. We don’t agree with it. Rescues sign a form releasing the County from liability after the animal is pulled and besides, we have never heard of anyone suing the County because they were attacked by a shelter cat, feral or not. We think it is more likely that this is retaliation since the shelter manager told our former admin that he can ban all the different rescues that she is authorized to pull animals for if she “bashes” the shelter on social media, referring to the discussion about Penny on this page. Does “bashing” also include telling the truth about what happens there? Will bashing simply be whatever the shelter manager or director doesn’t like?”
There’s another concern at this time as well. According to the Harnett County Animal Shelter website, no cats are being accepted at this time, as the shelter says they are at capacity on cats, as well as on dogs. The shelter requests people check back later for updates. The Board of Commissioners also have a link, should you wish to contact them about these problems.
Again, please note the Friends of Harnett County Animal Shelter is NOT run by the shelter – it’s managed by local animal advocates whose objective is to expose the animals at our County shelter to as many individuals and rescues as possible in hopes of finding them good homes or rescue. Friends of the Harnett County Animal Shelter is NOT a rescue. A lot of people don’t understand these Facebook pages and bash them, when many are working around the clock to be the voice for the cats and dogs who can’t speak for themselves.