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Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 23, 2012
Contact: ALISON GRASHEIM, or (240) 482-1985; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134

Animal control contractor caught on video mistreating animal

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today called on city leaders in Canton, Ohio to immediately suspend a contractor tasked with carrying out a component of the city’s animal control services, pending an investigation into a videotaped incident in which the contractor was witnessed mistreating a dog.

In the video clip, which has been viewed more than 4,000 times on YouTube, the contractor, Phil Sedlacko, is seen violently hosing down with water an injured, caged dog that had been shot with a tranquilizer dart. The dog later died en route to a veterinarian after being held in a cage while bleeding for hours.

“To continue this contract for services at taxpayer expense, without investigating and considering all the facts, would be a serious error in judgment,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies.

Robinson noted that Alley Cat Allies is standing by to help the city implement a humane and cost-effective program that would help save lives. Previously, Alley Cat Allies noted that under Canton’s animal control policy, the city spends about $27,000 of taxpayer funds per year for the contractor to capture animals. According to records, most of the cats and kittens he traps are delivered to the Stark County Humane Society.

“Although the Humane Society does not keep records, we know from the contractor’s records that last year, 399 cats and kittens were captured, and we can assume that most or all of the cats were then killed,” said Robinson.

She noted that nationally, more than 70 percent of cats who enter animal pounds and shelters are killed there, and for outdoor cats who are not socialized to people and can’t be adopted, being taken to an animal shelter is almost always a death sentence.

“The community would benefit far greater by using taxpayer funds to provide spay and neuter over endless killing,” said Robinson. “Canton needs to abandon this cruel approach in favor of humane programs that really work.”


About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 260,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is