For a complete list of the cats and the violations, click here for information uploaded onto Google Docs.
Case #1: Rescue says the cat was unable to walk, eat or drink and lay in its litter box the entire time at the shelter. One shelter employee stated she didn’t know whether the cat ate. Another shelter employee stated the cat lay in the litter box, but was told the cat was eating. Neither employee admitted to knowing the cat had a medical problem.
Case #2: Rescue says the cat had a compound fracture/broken rear leg that was dangling, and no medical attention was given the cat. The shelter says they were unaware this cat had injuries. The cat was eventually referred to a surgeon to fix the broken leg.
Case #3: Rescue says the cat had a gaping hole in the side of its head that had become abscessed and infected, and that the cat received no care while at the shelter.
Case #4: Rescue says the cat had numerous bite wounds and abscesses all over its body. Veterinarian gave an antibiotic injection but failed to find the numerous wounds on the abdomen, stomach, and legs. The veterinarian recommended a six-month quarantine as a rabies precaution.
Case #5: Rescue says kitten with obvious injuries to the front leg and lower jaw went for four days without medical treatment. He was dehydrated, had a fever and wasn’t eating. It was found through blood work that the kitten had a potentially fatal parasite infection. The kitten was treated for wounds to the left elbow, left hock, moderate dehydration, degloving to an injured jaw, malocclusion, ear mites, fleas, a bone defect of the left ulna and hemobartonello.
One staff member said the rescue knew about the “scab” on the kitten, and agreed to take the kitten anyway. Another worker at the shelter said the kitten had access to food and water at all times but didn’t know whether the kitten ate or drank.
Case #6: Cat had severe flea dermatitis and thinning of fur at the time of rescue. Shelter states rescue knew this and decided to take the cat anyway. Cat was put on medication and has improved.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture determined that
“Based on the investigation into this incident, AWS has determined that the faculty may have failed to provide effective daily observation and adequate veterinary care of the cats in cases #1 and #5. Furthermore based on the investigation into this incident, AWS has determined that the faculty may be in violation of the North Carolina Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and its regulations.”
The violations include 02 NCAC 52J .0210 Veterinary Care (short version)
“(a) A written program of veterinary care to include disease control and prevention, vaccination, euthanasia, and adequate veterinary care shall be established with the assistance of a licensed veterinarian by any person who is required to be licensed or registered under the Animal Welfare Act, Article 3 of Chapter 19A of the General Statutes.
(c) Each dog and cat shall be observed daily by the animal caretaker in charge, or by someone under his direct supervision. Sick or diseased, injured, lame, or blind dogs or cats shall be provided with veterinary care or be euthanized, provided that this shall not affect compliance with any state or local law requiring the holding, for a specified period, of animals suspected of being diseased. Diseased or deformed animals shall be sold or adopted only under the policy set forth in the “Program of Veterinary Care.” Full written disclosure of the medical condition of the animal shall be provided to the new owner.”
Since this is a “warning,” the shelter won’t face punishment at this time. Should future violations occur, it could result in disciplinary action against the facility’s certificate of registration GS19A-30 or the assessment of a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per violation under N.C. Gen Stat 19-A-40.
One of the best ways to protect shelter pets is to report wrongs that are being done against these animals. There are many bad animal shelters out there, and it’s time we start reporting them to someone who can correct the problem and hold these shelters accountable.