In the online newspapers there is a recurring report about an estimated 50-100 cats being taken away from the Steel City Alley Cats Coalition shelter in Pueblo, Colorado, after a month long investigation in which inspectors from the local authorities decided that there was evidence of animal abuse at the shelter under the Pet Animal Care Facility Act of Colorado.
The papers say that the shelter has failed three consecutive reports because of unsafe conditions, and not providing proper medical attention. The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region removed a large number of cats from the shelter and they say that four cats have died since September 4. All in all, it paints a pretty bad picture of a shelter in crisis and failing todischarge their duties towards the rescue cats in their care.
However, if you go onto their Facebook page, and administrator has written a lengthy post about what it is like at the shelter from their point of view and they make a passing comment to one report by inspectors (and not the two others). I get the impression that the post is in defence of the failed reports and the accusations made by the authorities. Although that is not specified.
I have read the post word for word and have come to the conclusion that there were two major issues, perhaps three which resulted in this accusation which I think is possible unfair but I am not on the ground so this is written reports.
Firstly, it appears that a friend of the owner/manager of the shelter reported to the authorities the condition of a geriatric office cat, Tom, at the shelter. He of she made comments about the cat when the manager wasn’t there without knowing that the cat was being seen by a veterinarian. This cat is not in pain but looks in poor condition partly because of a bad haircut by a previous shelter. And he was very thin. However, he ate well and was on a prescription diet.
According to the shelter, there were no other cats that were ill “on the floor”. I presume that she means very ill. Tom may have given the wrong impression to the inspectors.
The shelter admits that they had a case of ringworm going around the shelter causing 22 of the cats to have it and 13 had upper respiratory infections. Both of these infections are rather typical and far from life-threatening. At the time they had 120+ cats at the shelter. A lot of them were kittens.
They claim that they take their cats to the vet when necessary but the problem that they have is that the shelter is perhaps overpopulated with rescue cats at the moment bring pressure on them. They pride themselves in being no-kill and this puts pressure on them because they take in sick cats. This may the reason why four cats from the shelter died in the care of the Humane Society.
That’s the last bit issue that they have that I can deduce from their post. They are looking for foster carers to help ease the burden. Of course, in the interim the inspection concluded that they were failing in their duties and a large number of cats have been removed.
In conclusion, I get a sense that the newspapers have got hold of half the story, banded around the phrase “cat abuse” and painted an incorrect picture about the shelter. If I’m right, it’s a lesson because it is easy to be misled online by inaccurate reports or reports which have been gradually varied as they have been passed around the Internet.
I tend to go to the source of the story which is often Facebook because on Facebook there are many US shelters. A lot of these newspapers get their information from Facebook posts.
Below is the FB post I am referring to:
Click this to see the newspaper source for this article.