Local News

Cats Left Outside Shelter Overnight Killed by Wild Dogs

Posted March 2, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— People take their pets to animal shelters when they can no longer care for them properly, but leaving them at one shelter after hours is endangering them instead.

Animal Haven employees and volunteers arrived at work Friday morning and found a ripped cardboard box at the gate. Four kittens were found dead in a field nearby.

The box had been taped shut, and the owner left a note. But neither protected the animals.

"They didn't want the cats killed but leaving them here at our gate, they got killed anyway," says Arvadia Mason, an employee at the shelter.

Earlier this week, another cat was left and killed. The box it was in was torn to pieces.

Employees believe wild dogs caused the deaths, but they believe the real responsibility lays in the hands of the people leaving the animals at the shelter's gate after hours.

"If we could have somebody stay at our gate, we would certainly love to be able to," says shelter director Lynn Stone. "But we can't do that. We just have to get the word out that this is what's going to happen to the animals you're dropping off here. They're going to be murdered."

People dropping off their pets after hours has gotten so bad that employees are determined to fight.

When the shelter was full and a dog could not be accepted, the owner, Tracy Parker, left her pet at the shelter anyway. The shelter was able to get a license plate number, and on Monday, Parker was convicted of abandonment in court.

The shelter is also trying to get surveillance cameras to catch anyone who leaves their pets, but they are a non-profit agency, and right now, they do not have the money.

The shelter is also working with the county's animal control department to try to set traps to catch the wild dogs.

Animal Haven is a no-kill shelter, which means they will not euthanize pets.