March 11, 2016
There has not been and will not be a mandate to euthanize all feral animals. Animal Control may refrain from adopting Feral Cats to rescues or individuals if the cats cannot be safely removed from their cages, vaccinated for rabies or microchipped.
This does not mean that feral cats cannot be adopted. This means that if employees feel that the cat is a danger to them and/or the public they have the right to humanely euthanize the cat in accordance with all applicable state rules, regulations and laws thereby forfeiting the adoption.
Rowan County Manager
At first, this sounds as though feral cats won’t be killed and some may even be put up for adoption. It also means more cats will die than ever before if the Rowan County shelter follows through. One problem is who determines whether a cat is feral and a danger to shelter staff or the public?
Just because a cat arrives in a trap doesn’t mean that cat isn’t “Fluffy” from down the block trapped by a cat-hating neighbor. Fluffy may be terrified being in a trap and lash out in
One problem is who determines whether a cat is feral and a danger to shelter staff or the public? Just because a cat arrives in a trap doesn’t mean that cat isn’t “Fluffy” from down the block trapped by a cat-hating neighbor. Fluffy may be terrified being in a trap and lash out in fear and isn’t feral at all under normal circumstances. Rowan County residents should be aware their cat may be killed if allowed to wander the neighborhood and accidentally be trapped.
Several owner-surrendered cats, as well as cats who were given until early next week were allegedly killed Friday. These cats had rescues willing to save them and “pledges” had also been raised for these cats. Several rescues contacted Greenville Dog Examiner to report, a rescue will now be limited to saving nine cats per month.
These changes at Rowan County Animal Control, although unethical, aren’t illegal. Despite even a house cat who escapes the home and is trapped may be so frightened to appear feral, North Carolina law stands in favor of the shelter. North Carolina has a legal hold time of 72 hours for a cat brought to the shelter. There are three conditions that nullify the state law.
*An owner-surrendered cat may be killed at any time because no one will be looking for the cat
*Any cat severely injured or critically ill may be humanely euthanized so as not to allow suffering
*A cat may be euthanized for behavioral reasons
Article 47. Cruelty to Animals.§ 14-360. Cruelty to animals; construction of section confirms the legality of killing feral or any other cat if a shelter employee feels the cat is a danger to that employee or to the public.
(4) The lawful destruction of any animal for the purposes of protecting the public, other animals, property, or the public health.
The best course of action to change Rowan County Animal Control policy on killing any cat they feel is a danger is to contact Rowan County commissioners. A list of those individuals can be found here. Attending county council meetings may also be necessary to bring about change.
Cat owners in Rowan County need encouragement to keep their cats indoors for their own safety from trappers and this shelter. Is this retaliation in regards to making the Rowan shelter look bad in the case of Cooper, the cat injured by a shelter employee and who didn’t receive timely treatment for his injury? Any rescues out there been told they can only rescue nine cats per month? Sound off in the comments.