This is the disturbing story of an Animal Control officer employed by Hays County, Texas, USA, who apparently entered upon private property where nine ear-tipped, neutered, feral cats were living and seized them. He took them to an animal shelter: the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, where within 24 hours seven of them were dead. Note: ear-tipping indicates the cats were part of a TNR program and cared for.
It appears that no checks were made on micro-chipping and ownership of the cats. It is not uncommon for ear tipped feral cats to be owned by a person.
The initial report came from the person who claimed that she owned the nine cats. She said that they were living on her property. She said that she had not been notified by the shelter that her cats had been seized. And as mentioned it appears that there had been no attempt to discover ownership.
Geoff Caldwell, the director of Neighborhood Services for the City of San Marcos, confirmed that a Hays County officer had picked up the cats and impounded them. He had done so without direction from management. And he had seized the cats while off-duty in Caldwell County which is outside his jurisdiction.
It appears that the officer concerned has been dismissed because he is no longer employed by Hays County.
The conclusion is that he was an Animal Control officer who had gone rogue acting outside of his duties and his jurisdiction. The implication is that he was unsuited to the role.
During 2017, the shelter concerned euthanized 70% of cats entering it. This is clearly not a no-kill shelter and one in which there appears to be a need to improve the prospects of survival of the cats in their care.
A Facebook page has been set up in response to the incident. It is called: Save the Cats of Hays County. New procedures have been put into place at the San Marcos shelter. The manager at the shelter, Kara Montiel, has taken steps to make sure that the animals that are impounded at the shelter are accounted for properly. It appears that they are checking for identification more thoroughly.
A casual approach to the lives of cats – they are ‘only cats’ – seems to have permeated the consciousness of certain individuals working with animals in this neck of the woods.
Source: The University Star.
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