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Testimonials of Shelter Deception

Killed July 2008

I saw something go under a neighbor’s bush…. It was a very friendly black cat…. I fed it and took it to our vet to see if it was micro-chipped. It was not. I did not know what to do because we were leaving on vacation the next day and it would not survive on our street. I begged the vet to keep it but they … said to call the pound…. I really teared up and they were adamant that things had changed [at the pound]. They kept the cats for at least three days and put [their] picture on the website, etc. So, I called [the pound] and … told the man that [the cat] was very friendly and had obviously belonged to someone. . . . The next day … my one neighbor called and had found the owner. I was thrilled…. Very shortly the neighbor called me back … they had already killed the cat…. They claimed it was sick. I knew it was not because I had it to the vet. They said it was old … so what. They killed it the very evening that it got there. They did not even hold it for several hours…. The kitty was declawed and they had to know that it belonged to someone. It had gotten out accidently and [the owner] had been looking for it.

- Dottie
Charlotte, NC
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Killed August 1978

I was visiting a friend who … had relocated to Florida, volunteering at a shelter there. When she brought me to see the shelter, I fell in love with a small silver tabby kitten I named Louise. I asked to take her home with me on the plane the next day, assuring them that I was a vet tech and she would receive good care immediately and a loving forever home. She had a runny eye, and they insisted that she was not adoptable and would likely be killed. I pleaded, my friend assured them that I was credible, I promised to take her to [the vet] to be checked immediately when I got back, I offered to take her to a vet in Florida at my expense; nothing worked. I was forever changed and disgusted at the attitude of the "shelter" who killed a beautiful kitten that had a viable option. I tell this story because in all this time, "shelters" still kill cats when there are options, believing that they are acting "humanely." I tell this story because I still think of Louise, I still have her photo, and I have vowed to fight for cats' lives ever since, founding a true no-kill organization … in memory of Louise.

- Beverly
Winthrop, MA
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Backyard Kittens
Killed Summer 1998

We found kittens in our backyard with [no] mom present. At that time, we had no experience with feral cats or abandoned kittens, so I called our local Humane Society … and asked them what to do. They told me that I can foster them until they were old enough to be adopted or bring them in and they'll try to get foster for them. I chose the latter since I would have no clue on how to raise three week-old kittens. I brought them in early that afternoon and later that day, the queen came back looking for her kittens, so I called the shelter to see if they still had them[.] [I]t was about 6-7pm, I believe, and they told me that the kids have been put down already. I was so appalled and upset that I burst into tears, feeling a great sense of guilt for trusting the Humane Society or I should say, not so humane society. I wrote their [director] and was given a reply that the kittens were too young and that they were sick, so they had no choice but to put them down. Had they been up front with me about putting them down, I would have kept them and [found] other ways to help.

- Susan
Santa Clara, CA
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Killed July 2008

I foster cats and kittens for the local shelter and I brought Julie home as a foster. She was such a beautiful little girl and she was all alone and scared in the back of a cage. When she first came home she was very timid, but after a few weeks of love, she blossomed and grew into a lovely little girl. Everyone who visited me instantly fell in love with Julie. Once she was healthy and confident I took her back to the shelter to be adopted. A week later I was in the shelter to check on the cats and found out that Julie had been euthanized. They gave me no explanation for this decision. . . . I still miss Julie to this day and think the world is a darker place without her smile.

- Michelle
Smithville, OH
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Saved June 2007

[T]here was a kitten in my back yard screaming. That’s right, not meowing, screaming! . . . I decided to go see what was wrong . . . . [S]he had something wrong with her neck. It looked as though her trachea was bulging out. Her eyes were half sealed shut from infection. I couldn’t leave her like that . . . . I called one vet who suggested calling the [local shelter]. I felt comfortable with that and thought about a show on TV that comes to rescue animals in emergent situations. I called . . . and a lady said, “No problem, we’ll have someone come pick the kitten up. Where do you live?” I was so relieved. The driver came and he had an old rusty cage. . . . I could see that the truck said ‘Animal Control.’ I felt sick. . . . [I called the shelter and was told] . . . . “We don’t have the equipment to do surgery here. If it’s that bad, they’ll probably euthanize the kitten.” Then I called the [first person I spoke to.]. . . . She said, “Do you want me to have [the Animal Control truck] bring the kitten back?” . . . I [had] assumed that he was going to rush the kitty to get help. But, no! He was trying to catch the neighbor’s dog that had gotten loose. I was HORRIFIED! I got the kitten back. . . . [N]ow she’s two and part of my family.

- Jennifer
Orange City, FL
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Killed October 1996

Franklin was a young adult, black and white, stray cat . . . . He wandered onto the porch of a friend's workplace, and we worked to get him inside so that we could get him off the cold streets. . . . He seemed to be a nice cat, and seemed relatively healthy, but did not like being indoors. We . . . were concerned about him, so I called the local [shelter] . . . and inquired about their policies. I was informed that they had to keep a stray animal at least 3-5 days in case an owner was looking for them. I made sure that I questioned their policies so that we were not bringing Franklin to a certain death. We . . . planned to check on him daily, hoping we could find him a potential owner in the meantime. The next day, I found someone . . . who was interested in taking him home. I promptly called the shelter . . , only to be told that they had euthanized him already. . . . I was told that he looked sick and was very lethargic. . . . I do not believe that Franklin was ill; he showed no signs the previous day. If anything, he was stressed out from being inside at the shelter, which is normal and certainly not a reason for euthanasia.

- C
Lexington Park, MD
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Fate Unknown

My husband and I were looking around in a "no kill" shelter … [W]e saw a beautiful black and white [cat] that I decided I would call Domino if we got her. She grabbed my finger, licking it so lovingly – I was floored. I decided to wait a week [before deciding whether to adopt her]. [T]his cat was getting a lot of attention from others too, that's how friendly she was. [W]e walked around what must have been over 50 cages worth of cats .… [W]hen my husband went back a week later, the entire area was wiped out – all cages empty and all cats gone – even the newborns and their moms.… When I got down there I asked what happened, that I understood this to be a no kill [shelter], to which a worker there replied: Well of course we kill if they are there too long.… If it is a “no kill,” it means no kill: not may or probably will kill. It disturbs me to this day as I often ponder whether this beautiful creature who grabbed my finger was adopted or killed. I have since found out this shelter kills animals off within three days of drop off/rescue. Waste of lives and hopes.

- Andrea
Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Killed January 2005

[One day] I [got] an urgent phone call from my husband saying, "I've got a stray black kitten here. I need you to take this little guy home.".… [Pepper] was probably 4 months old, and appeared VERY healthy .… We had to make a very tough decision - either keep him overnight (and risk [our other cat] getting … apprehensive … ) or call [the local] Animal Control.… An Animal Control officer comes to our apartment and .… asked us if he had scratched anyone. He did but it was not in self-defense; Pepper LIGHTLY scratched my husband while getting into the cat carrier.… We told her we'd like to adopt him .… She [said] she didn't see any reason we couldn't do that. A few days later we … called Animal Control to check the status of Pepper. We … were told he was put to sleep … because he scratched my husband. But … it wasn't malicious, we couldn't have been more clear with the Animal Control officers .… With these testimonials, I hope no cat or kitten has to go through what Pepper did.

- Jeanna
Charlotte, NC
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Killed February 2004

I found a four week old kitten on the side of the road during a thunderstorm in College Station Texas. It was after midnight and the rain was rushing down the gutters. I stopped my car and picked up the fluffy little gray kitten. After a warm bath and warm bottle of kitten replacement milk, she was the happiest little girl. I kept her at the house I lived in with my roommates in college, but they wanted me to find her a home. Since I was new to rescuing and fostering, … I took her a week later to the [local] Animal Shelter. They said they would definitely be able to take her, so I dropped her off with two cans of kitten milk replacement, her favorite toys, her towel, and a bottle. When I went to visit her three days later (their standard quarantine period) she was nowhere to be found. When I asked the shelter manager, she didn't even remember me, OR Lexie! She asked how old of a kitten she was, and when I said "About 4-5 weeks old" she replied "Oh, we euthanize any kitten we get under 7 weeks old because when they come in without a mom, they grow up socially retarded." I would have kept her until 8 or 10 weeks had they TOLD ME THAT.

- Lacy
Dallas, TX
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Killed June 1999

[T]here were several lovely Siamese cats around .… One was a female, petite and friendly, and the other was a huge male seal point Siamese with the bluest eye[s] .… We [thought] that … they would be highly adoptable and decided to take them to the shelter. We didn’t want them to be put down so we asked many questions about what the criteria was for adoption. They told us that the[ ] … vet … would have the final say. All that night I could not sleep because … I kept seeing how frightened [Rasta] seemed at the intake procedure. I [went] to the shelter as soon as they opened to get him back. [T]hey told me that Sasha … would be placed up for adoption but that Rasta ha[d] already been killed. I … demanded to know why. [U]nder ‘reason for rejection,’ [Rasta’s paperwork] said “scarred.” I said, what do you mean he was scarred, where?? It was a spelling error. He was killed because he was scared.… He didn’t bite or try to scratch anyone. He was just in a place he had never been before. I’m sure many animals are frightened by shelter procedures and – in most cases – they are ever so wise to be so.

- Kathy
Phoenix, AZ
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Killed August 2004

A co-worker asked me to find a home for a little black & white pregnant cat because the elderly couple who had her didn't want to have to cope with the kittens. She had been dumped at their house. I picked her up in a few days and called her Charlie because of her Charlie Chaplin mustache. She was a shy and timid little cat.… The couple really liked her and wanted her to have a nice home. I took her to my co-worker, who had no pets .… All was well until it was time to wean the kittens so all could be put up for adoption. Co-worker wouldn't let Charlie stay upstairs and the kittens downstairs. I had a friend who worked with the local Humane Society.… I hoped because of my go-between it would be okay.… I told them to call me if they didn't want them and I would come back and get them. [Two] days later I called to check on them and was told (not kindly) that Charlie was vicious, had bitten their expert cat handler and been destroyed.… I was devastated over Charlie .… There is nothing else to say. It still saddens me very much.

- Sandra
Centerville, OH
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Pudgy, Ragamuffin, Fussbudget, and Little Bitt
Killed July 2008

I have been rescuing cats.… for about five years.… I was contacted by a lady .… who told me that she had found a dead mother cat and four very tiny kittens in a ditch by her farm.… I could not believe they were still alive! They could not have been more than a few days old.… And so began the taxing regimen of feeding, burping, stimulating their bottoms, cleaning them, [and] keeping them warm.… [e]ventually all were.… healthy.… [and] purring loudly whenever they saw me enter the room. When they were two months old .… I brought them to the shelter .… [I]t was time to let [the shelter] .… find them all loving homes. I found out a week later that all four of my kittens were killed within one hour after I dropped them off.… because one of the kittens had a spot of ringworm on his nose. I wept, curled in a ball on the floor for six hours.

- Margaret
Watseka, IL
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[M]e and my daughter went to look for a cat of ours that had disappeared. [At the shelter,] [w]e found … a cat that had just been brought in .… The[ ] [shelter was] closing. They said they would not let me take the cat because the owner needs time to find it. I said I'd be back after the three day time frame. The worker said, if you want the cat, you need to let them know now. I now know why she said that[:] she knew what was about to happen to the cat. She said if it's wild, you can't adopt it. I said, test it now. She stuck the stick in and the cat just shrank shyly to the back of its cage.… My young daughter, now in love with the gray striped tabby big guy, named him Ladybug on the spot. I came back the next morning. The cat was gone. All the cats in there, about 20 of them, were gone. I can't hear the word Ladybug to this day without deep horrible sadness.… This shelter kills cats [on the] same day and lies. It’s notorious for it.

- Kim
Lubbock, TX
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Killed July 2004

[M]y neighbor was walking her dog and a little white male kitten was following her. He was really cute but she is not a cat person. I … volunteered to take the cat to the [local shelter] .… I drove him over to the shelter [and] gave them a $60 donation (in the hopes that they would take better care of him). The people at the front desk were very nice and assured me that I could check up on him whenever I wanted to and that the state law requires that strays be held for a period of time (can't remember but I think it was 3-4 days) before they can either adopt out or euthanize.… I called the next day … and was told that they had euthanized him. I was so upset that I wrote a letter to the shelter executive director about it, made sure that they were aware that I knew that they had broken the law and demanded my donation back. They sent me a "bs" letter explaining how the cat had some sort of infection that rendered him unadoptable which was why they euthanized him within 24 hours (they were probably worried I'd report them for violating the law), but they did give me the donation funds back.

- Patty
Dexter, MI
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Killed December 2006

[T]this experience … was so upsetting to me that I will never again bring an animal to my [local] shelter .… I found a tiny cat on an extremely cold day .… I noticed that she was very pregnant. I didn't want her to deliver her babies in the sub-freezing weather so I brought her … to my [local] shelter.… I … told the shelter worker that I would take her if nobody else adopted her.… After I left the shelter, I .… called a friend of mine who .… immediately offered to take her[,] so I called the shelter .… [but] [t]hey refused to allow me to get her back.… [My friend told me] to just go back to the shelter and adopt her.… I knew … that the waiting period was five days, so I returned … within five days to adopt her. I was told that shelter workers had euthanized her because she had an upper respiratory infection. … When I … asked them why they didn't call me … I was told that they do not adopt out cats with upper respiratory infections.… I argued that she was NOT sick when I brought her in, and it had only been a couple of days! … I … remain devastated to this day.

- Jill
Darnestown, MD
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Barn Cat
Killed Fall 2005

We had a cat coming to our barn on and off.… [A]fter two years of trying to catch him, one night he came into the barn and was eating food. He let me walk right up to him and pet him. So, I caught him and took him to the [local shelter], hoping they might be able to re-home him.… They wanted to know if he was wild. I said that I actually caught him bare handed, so he probably could be a nice cat. They didn't give any sign as to whether they thought he was adoptable or not. I called the [shelter] a few days later to find out how he was doing. They informed me that once I signed him over to them, they did not have to release any information to me. I concluded that they had put him to sleep. I felt so guilty.… If I had known they were going to do that, I never would have taken him there.… I will never take another cat (or any other animal, for that matter) to a[n animal shelter] again.

- Susan
Vernon, NY
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Baby Kitty
Killed July 2004

I received a call from my boyfriend who was working on a construction job. They had heard a kitten crying all day .… They finally found it and he called me to come rescue it. Baby was only about two weeks old, a little brown tabby. I went to [the local shelter] for advice on how to bottle feed. I intended to take the baby home and make him ours. They told me that I couldn't bottle feed because he would need to be fed every three hours. They said they would find a nursing surrogate mom and the mom would feed him and care for him. Who could argue with that? I told him that we did want to adopt the baby as soon as he was ready. I called the next morning only to be told that they had immediately euthanized Baby Kitty. I was horrified. I told this new person what I had been told and she told me that they ALWAYS euthanize sick bottle feeders. Sick? The baby had a slight upper respiratory infection and conjunctivitis. There was no reason for this baby to die.

- Tammy
Whitewater, WI
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Killed July 2003

At my old apartment complex, there was a beautiful, long-haired, white cat--a Queen--that had two litters while I was aware of her presence.… I kept an eye on her for months, trying to find a way to trap her … for TNR.* [O]ne day … I saw that she'd had more kittens. I called [the local] Animal Control and talked at length with the officer.… Unfortunately, the only place they could take her was the [local shelter]. I resolved to call the shelter every day … to get her back, have her spayed, and re-release her and look after her. I did call every day. They killed the kittens right away, sadly (that is their policy--I did not know that at the time!). I asked every day if I could please come get [Ruby]. Every day I got the same line: "She's too wild. She's too wild. You don't want to do that." Uh...yes, I did. I called them for five days, telling them every day I would take responsibility for her as a feral. They refused to release her to me and killed her after five days. All I wanted to do was stop the birth cycle.
* TNR = Trap-Neuter-Return

- Jen
Montgomery Village, MD
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Taffy was about .… a year old when she came into my yard.… I fed her and [tried] .… to identify her owner to no avail, so I called Animal Control .… [They] told me they would try for three days to find the owner, then .… put her up for adoption. She had beautiful white fur and I just knew she would soon have a home. After three days I called to see if her owner claimed her and was told that she was scheduled to be euthanized the next day. I objected that the previous person .… said she would be put up for adoption, this person said that Animal Control owned her now, and they could do whatever they wanted.… I quickly drove to the facility .… but was required to pay $90 to adopt her .… I took her home .… and she is with me today[.]

- Pat
Cedar Rapids, IA
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Black Beauty
Killed June 2006

Like Claude and Cynthia [see testimonial on Rocky and Spring], I too read your Alley Cat Action, “Lives Count, Secrets Kill” campaign article and have my own similar horrifying story to tell about an animal shelter killing a stray cat I rescued.… [Black Beauty] was to be quarantined for the required 10 days and I gave explicit instructions to two of the shelter’s officers when I turned her over, and also to the supervisor NOT to kill her and that I would pick her up on their specified release date – the 23rd of June. The supervisor even waived the $10 a day quarantine fee because they knew me there and knew I did TNR* .… When I arrived on the 23rd to pick her up, I was told she had been euthanized early that morning. Needless to say, I could not believe what I was hearing! Just like Claude and Cynthia, I too was shocked, angry, and outraged! I was overwhelmed with feelings of great sadness and grief! It is a very emotionally painful experience to say the very least and one you can never forget.
* TNR = Trap-Neuter-Return

- Madeline
Irving, TX
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Read the supporting documents.

Miagi and Unnamed Kitty
Killed November 2006
Orange Kitty

I took three cats on different dates to a "no kill shelter." Luckily, one of the workers called me on one of the cats and I rushed to pick him up. The others [were] not so lucky. Supposedly they didn’t kill and would keep the cats there until adopted. One was supposedly aggressive (not true) unless the way they handled him scared him. The never did give an explanation on the kitten. I believe she was killed the same day …. I did write a letter and made a few phone calls to the president however he told me that I was immature to believe all cats could be saved. He also stated it wasn’t his problem that I put money into all the cats. I believe I forgot to mention that the cats I took there were spayed/neutered, de-wormed and had their shots, paid for by me!

- Cherie
Hobart, IN
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White Kitty with Black Spots
Killed June 2008

I was volunteering at .… a “low-kill” shelter in Columbus Ohio, which makes a point of saying on their website how few cats they put down and then only if they were too sick or injured to be helped. . . . [and] I believed this .… One day .… another volunteer told me about a tiny kitten someone had brought in … [a] … [one] week old … kitten, eyes not quite open. I … was hoping [the shelter manager] would take this kitten, otherwise I was going to … hand raise it myself .… When the manager came in, she .… proclaimed “they all die at this age if you try to hand raise them”, and despite all my cries and pleadings, she killed it on the spot .… [S]he told me [the shelter] typically kills 40-50 cats and kittens, most adoptable, each month during kitten season. Since their adoption rate for cats is about 8 per month, this makes a kill rate of 80-90%, hardly a “low-kill” shelter!

- Merlin
Dublin, OH
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Killed July 2008

Our back terrace tool shed was home to a stray cat, where she bore her kittens, a litter of three. She was very friendly and loving and took domain of our back terrace to the point that our pet [dog] no longer wished to go outside .… Due to the stress to our dog … we … deci[ded] to take her to the [local] animal shelter with her kittens. We requested that the staff at the shelter advise us if the time limit was close for her stay, if no one claimed or adopted her, so that we could pick her and her kittens up because we did not want her killed. The shelter staff told us that all the cats receive a time limit of at least one week. We saw her photo posted on their website and hoped that someone would adopt her, when two days later, we did not see her photo, we thought it was due to her being adopted, so we called the shelter and … we were told that she was put to sleep. My husband to this day cannot get over this total disregard to our request that we be notified to save the life of this precious cat and her kittens.

- Miriam
Miami, FL
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ER Kitty

I was driving to my mom’s house when I saw a black cat in the middle of the road that had just been hit by a car and left for dead. I saw that [the cat] was still alive but in shock. I placed the kitty in my car and took it to the local Animal ER. The staff wanted to know if I was the cat’s owner, so I explained … [that] I would go door-to-door in the neighborhood, and [would] be willing to adopt the cat if no one else came forward. I phoned the ER later that evening and was told the cat was “resting” and would be picked up by the local animal shelter the next morning. The next day I went to the animal shelter to check on the kitty. I was informed that the cat was “feral” and therefore unadoptable .… I pleaded with them to let me take the cat home …. It was no use…. Instead of letting me adopt the cat, the animal ‘shelter’ opted to kill it .… In an effort to do what I thought was the right thing, I had delivered this beautiful cat to its death. I will never make that mistake again.

- Cindy
Escondido, CA
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Spokane Cats

Our local shelter in Spokane …. had a policy that you could donate in the name of a cat and insure that the cat you donated toward would be adopted. At least, that was what I was led to believe. I donated money to save two …. older cats [who] …. were both on the shy side - the kind that has a harder time getting adopted because they aren't as "outgoing."…. I called back a couple weeks later to see if the cats had been adopted and I was told that no, they had both been euthanized! I was absolutely heartbroken [and] was told that the money I spent didn't "actually" go specifically to the cats I picked but rather, was used to waive the adoption fee of any cat that was adopted. I was really upset about that. On one hand, I'm glad my money may have helped adopt a cat out … but I had specifically chosen two cats I wanted to save because I was led to believe I could do that.

- Deborah
Newman Lake, WA
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Moustache, Cally & Marmalade

I took [Moustache, Cally, and Marmalade] for desexing and microchipping in an airline approved and labeled 'feral' cat crate to the [local] SPCA* .… I warned 3 nurses that even though they're just kittens, they're ferals and to be careful when letting them out .… They called me that afternoon and the woman said they'd died in surgery. I went to pick up the bodies so I could bury them, when I got there I was told the surgeon had let them get out and couldn't catch them. They didn't return the cage and I was told the bodies had already been processed. I was also given the bill for full price desexing and microchipping.

- Caren
Melbourne, Australia
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Almost 10 years ago I was volunteering at a "No Kill" humane society in California where I had recently adopted two cats. I … volunteered to foster a cat .… I picked a beautiful longhaired, blue eyed, declawed cat that was very skittish. I soon discovered that Casey was more than just a little skittish …. I made some progress with her, but not nearly enough to satisfy the shelter. A few weeks after I got her, they started hinting that she was not an "adoptable" cat …. Finally, after several conversations, they came right out and told me that they were having meetings to determine if Casey was adoptable because they were a no kill shelter for adoptable cats only. The obvious implication was that if I returned my neurotic cat, she would be found unadoptable and killed. Obviously I could not give this poor cat back to them, only to watch her be killed. So, even though she was a horrible fit for the rest of my feline family, and would have been much happier in a quiet household where she was the only pet, I decided to adopt her …. After that, I was so disillusioned that I never volunteered for them again.

- Vania
Blythe, CA
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[M]y husband and I noticed a stray kitty that was starting to get wild. She had been coming around for about a year and only ever wanted petting, never any food …. Then, about a year later, she started coming over looking to be pet and suddenly bite and scratch …. We knew that despite this behavior, she was a sweet cat that just needed to be reacquainted with people …. [W]e decided to take her to the local Colorado humane society which was a "no kill" shelter for adoptable cats. Before turning her in though, we questioned them on their criteria for adoptability …. We found out that if we turned her in she would be quarantined because she had bitten me, and evaluated for adoptability. If she was deemed unadoptable, she would be killed. "If she's deemed unadoptable can we take her back?" we asked, and the answer was a resounding no …. [My husband] and I could not bear to take the risk that this once friendly cat would be killed just because she'd been abandoned .… Annie is now living happily with our family, which consists of 5 other cats and two toddlers.

- Vania
Blythe, CA
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Killed March 2006


I was volunteering for … Animal Control when a call came in that a man had trapped a cat in this garden that needed to be picked up. The animal control officer in charge … said she had picked up a cat there before and was scratched so will not take any chances with this cat. [W]hen she got back I asked where the cat was  … she said it was dead. They killed it as soon as they picked it up. Then a few minutes later a woman called looking for her cat … it was the cat they killed. According to the law they were to hold the cat for 3 days …. They laughed and made jokes about the dead cat. I quit after that and now have a non-profit organization that helps feral cats by doing TNR.* I have … TNR’d almost 1,100 cats.
* TNR = Trap-Neuter-Return

- Kathy
Kempner, TX
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Grey Kitty
Killed May 2006

[M]y mother called me because a beautiful long-haired grey cat was hiding in the shrubs behind her workplace …. I took her to the [local] SPCA …. I was fairly sure the poor cat was simply lost or terrified …. [T]he shelter staff … assured me that the cat would go up for adoption …. The next day … the shelter manager . . . assured me they would not kill the cat unless she … was too ill to treat …. [A] few days later, I got a call … saying that they were going to kill the cat because she had a bad upper respiratory infection that couldn’t be helped! I said that I would come right over and take the cat, but …. [t]hey said what if I didn’t go to a vet and the cat suffered? I said, I rescued a healthy cat. She showed absolutely no signs of a cold when I brought her in. She got sick at the shelter and now you’re going to kill her? … I could barely find the words to express how angry I was and how deceived I felt. The shelter … out and out lied to me – what is untreatable sickness to them is, on the contrary, very much treatable …. I … now take every opportunity to tell people about [the shelter’s] deception and about poor little Grey Kitty, whom I thought I was helping.

- R
Philadelphia, PA
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Rocky and Spring
Killed July 2008


Recently, my husband and I, with the assistance of two friends, humanely trapped two abandoned eight-week-old, orange, tiger-striped kittens[.] [T]hey ... survived an all night thunderstorm until they could be rescued the next morning. Although frightened, they gobbled up as much food as they could and purred in contentment as they were held. ... A mutual decision was made to entrust the safekeeping of the kittens to the Animal Shelter for 'care, safety, comfort' and hopefully adoption. My husband and I were assured by its staff the shelter was a 'no kill shelter.’ ... Approximately two weeks later ... an employee of the shelter informed me the kittens were euthanized [because] “these kittens were ... just a bit unfriendly.” 

- Cynthia and Claude
Chambersburg, PA
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Saab Kitten
Killed November 2006 


We are two neighbors who ... were recently witness to the barbaric and pointless killing by Animal Control of a perfectly healthy kitten rescued in our neighborhood, in spite of our attempts to talk to them and adopt the kitten.... 

  • November 7, 2006
    Several neighbors heard a kitten crying in alley[.] ... [T]he kitten was under the hood of a Saab[.] We ... were not ...  able to locate the owner. Several neighbors, including Kate and Irina, said they were ready to adopt the kitten. 
  • November 8, 2006 - morning
    The kitten still crying in a.m. ...  Kate called Animal Control.... The AC officer couldn’t get the kitten out[.] ... The Animal Control officer left and said he would check back again.... 
  • November 10, 2006
    Afternoon - Neighbor ... called Kate to say that the AC officer came back after she had called again and took the kitten to the shelter. Kate called the shelter and an employee told her that the kitten had been euthanized. He said that’s all the info he was allowed to give. 

- Irina and Kate
Washington, DC
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Wild Bill
Killed October 2005


Paraphrased from “Wild Bill: A Cautionary Tale,” published in Alley Cat Action, Winter 2006 at p. 4.

When Paul visited his mother in Alexandria, Virginia, he discovered a colony of feral cats and kittens living in the neighborhood. He took Milo home, and the next time he visited, he and a friend “decided [to] do something good for those other kittens by rescuing them and taking them to the local shelter.” The men captured Wild Bill and a girl kitten and took them to the shelter, where he was told the kittens could “probably be adopted.” When he called two days later, the shelter director said that she planned to destroy Wild Bill the next Tuesday because he was too wild to handle. Paul immediately said he would take Wild Bill back, but the shelter refused to release the cat. Paul got on the phone: “I must have called more than 20 agencies and groups,” he said. Experienced feral cat rescue groups agreed to relocate Wild Bill, but the shelter would not release him. On Monday night, Paul returned to the shelter, but the office was closed.  “An officer took a picture of Wild Bill for me, so I could remember him.” The Alexandria shelter killed Wild Bill on Tuesday morning. 

- Paul
Alexandria, VA
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