January 17, 2021

Shelter who killed lost cat admits they made a mistake


A Florida woman says she was shocked to learn that her four yer old cat had been put down by an animal control facility less than an hour after it was found safe in the engine of a rental car.

Chelsea Santoro said her cat, Tails, went missing Monday and that she had placed posters in her St. Augustine neighborhood in hopes of finding her cat.

According to this woman her cat never wandered off, but in this instance, Tails walked away and ended up hiding in the engine of her neighbor’s rental car.

When the car was returned to the rental agency, a worker found the cat in the engine and took it to the St. Johns County Animal Shelter.

According to Santoro,  she learned about the cat being found  and called the shelter, only to find out Tails had been put down.

Santoro said the cat was neutered and declawed, so someone at the shelter should have known Tails had an owner.

“I was horrified when I found out,” said Santoro. “It just made no sense at all because he was perfectly safe and it was supposed to be a miracle story that he survived a trip in the engine and then was reunited with his owner. There’s just no reason for this type of outcome.”

The St. Johns County Animal Shelter admits that euthanizing the cat in this case was not according to their procedure and was a mistake by one staff member.

“Our initial inquiry into this incident indicates that the county’s policies and procedures were not followed, and there was no justification for the actions that occurred, said Michael Ryan, St. Johns County’s communication manager. “The issue is currently under investigation and the employee in question has been placed on administrative leave. Appropriate measures will be taken to prevent this from occurring again. The loss of a pet under any circumstances is tragic and our condolences are extended to the family.”


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