A non-profit organization in Sevierville, Tennessee, Pets without Parents, have stated on their Facebook page that they euthanized 42 cats last Monday. The post has been shared over 300 times and a lot of visitors have been critical of the shelter. Their criticisms may be unfair; it’s not clear. Forty-two cats euthanized in one day seems like an awfully big number for a standard shelter and would indicate that something went wrong.
However, management more or less state that the killing of these cats was a fairly routine matter. I get the impression from their post on Facebook that they took in too many cats in order to “meet the county and city contracts”. And I think the high number of cats in their care may been the driving force behind the high number of euthanizations.
Their veterinarian took 50 cats away and it would seem that 42 of those cats were euthanized. But they make it clear that only sick cats are euthanized; the rest go to new homes.
As I said, reading between the lines, the shelter was over subscribed with cats and in order to get their intake area ready for the next intake they decided to weed out the numbers and probably as a result tightened up their criteria regarding sick cats resulting in the high number losing their lives.
It would be unusual for 42 cats in the shelter to be sick with a “respiratory infection” to the extent that they had to be euthanized. Sometimes a particularly nasty and fatal virus goes through a shelter like wildfire which causes the management to take drastic action but that does not seem to be the case in this instance. Respiratory infections are cat colds. They are usually curable unless a symptom of an underlying more serious disease.
The problem is that it gives the impression that the shelter is unnecessarily killing cats and dogs because of poor practices. Pets without Parents have denied this and made it clear that they euthanized the cats because they were sick and had to be put down.
Protesters formed up outside the shelter on Tuesday this week to demonstrate their concerns about the euthanasia of the animals. They are seeking change at the shelter and don’t wish to “bad-mouth anyone”. They admit that the shelter staff do care.
It is interesting to report that the shelter was closed this week for staff training and maintenance work according to their Facebook page. This reinforces the suggestion that they got the intake numbers wrong and mistakes were made. However the shelter gets 4.8 out of 5 in 800 reviews.
Source: Facebook page and wkrn.com via Google News.