Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Power to Kill

This is the story of  a young cat named Funny Face as told to me by the owner, Jennifer S.

I emailed the Fox Valley Humane Association twice, asking if they would like to comment or share their side of the story. I did not receive a reply.

A young cat  wandered into a garage last year of an animal-loving family near Appleton. The family called him Funny Face and he quickly befriended the family's two dogs and learned to use the doggie door. He was a very lucky cat and became the family's inside/outside cat. He had five acres and a shop to mouse. He wears a bell so the family knows where he is. But a couple of weeks ago Funny Face was limping and a trip to the vet was in order. The vet felt that nothing was broken and sent Funny Face home with some pain medication.  A few days later, it wasn't better. So Funny Face went back to the vet for x-rays and another exam. The x-rays showed nothing but he did have a swollen lymph node so he was sent home with some antibiotics and more pain meds. Total vet costs about $280.

When Funny Face didn't make his appearance through the doggie door on Tuesday night, the family noticed but weren't overly alarmed.  He generally didn't wander far, and perhaps he had just found a warm corner of the shop to snuggle up in.  No sign of him Wednesday; and Jennifer, the owner was really worried by Thursday. She called the town constable  and surrounding humane societies. Fox Valley Humane Association said that a cat had been brought in that matched Funny Face's description. It would be $96.20 to reclaim him. They said that if she filed a lost cat report with the police department they would probably be able to work something out. I'm not exactly sure what that has to do with anything, but the owner complied..

But when she made her visit to "work something out" to the shelter, they backed out of the deal. Pay up, or no cat for you!. Jennifer was told that Funny Face would be killed on Wednesday, March 14 because he was "unadoptable". The shelter claimed he didn't use his litterbox and nobody adopts a cat that doesn't use his litterbox.

Money was already tight because of the $280 vet bill. Jennifer asked for a payment plan. The shelter refused. No cat for you!.

Jennifer asked if she could pay the difference between the euthanasia fee and the reclaim fee.  The shelter refused. No cat for you!

This shelter has FREE cat adoptions ( a program I usually love). But the shelter told Jennifer that they suspected that Jennifer was going to have a friend adopt the cat who would give it back to her. No cat for you!

These are some excerpts from Jennifer's Facebook page:

"I brought the kitty his food. At 2:30 p.m. they had told me he already was fed 2x that day and would start the food tomorrow, but that they were not going to bring him out for me to administer his medicine or see him.."

"....he was filthy and starting to get mats when I got there Friday and Saturday when I brought his medicine and food they wouldn't let me see him. (had the sheriff "request" me to leave both times)

"It's going to cost them over $200 to keep him and euthanize him on Wednesday. "

"I offered the difference between their euthanization fee and the reclaim fee and they said no. So I sit there every day asking to give him his medicine so I know it was administered and they say no... when I tell them I'm not leaving, they call the cops. Second day in a row, and the same thing will happen Monday.  It's ridiculous, we could have the cat back and they could spend that money on something else."

"So rather than give us our cat back, or accept the difference between the two fees and give us the cat back, the organization has said, too bad so sad, are planning on putting him down Wednesday.  Try explaining that to a two year old girl - How TERRIBLE that the organization is not willing to work with us or meet us halfway in order to get our cat back. "

"I'm sure next week AFTER I get paid, I could move a few bills around and make it work.... They are choosing to spend money putting our cat down instead of giving him back." 

Fox Valley "Humane" Association's "vision" from their website:  "No animal need in the Fox Valley goes  unmet." and their motto is "Caring for Pets and Their People".

Hmm. They missed the boat on this one. I would say that Funny Face's needs went unmet.   His need to live. His need to have his medicine and be with the family who love him. His need  to not be put to death by power-hungry people who think they are proving a point and "if they make this exception, they will have to make it for everyone." (apparently what one of the shelter staff told Jennifer).

This is not a situation of a lost dog or cat that the shelter thinks they should adopt out to a "better home". This is a situation of a "shelter" choosing death over life for a cat that had a perfectly good home already.  Just because they could.

My husband says that when you give little people a little bit of power, there is usually trouble. I think he is right.

Funny Face, recovering from his stressful ordeal,  asleep on Jennifer's two year old daughter's coat.

Funny Face is safe at home now with an ID tag on his collar. A family friend paid the reclaim fee and the family will reimburse them.

Welcome home Funny Face! Your family really, really loves you.

March 25, 2012 An update from Jennifer regarding the situation: "They gave me the wrong food back, when I picked up the right stuff, I saw they never fed him any of it.  And I requested all their paperwork but got nothing."



  1. What a bunch of bullshit!! I would have been arrested several times by the time my kitty was back home with me! But anyway Im so glad that u got ur kityy back where he belongs.

  2. Great example of the kind of crap that happens all the time. It makes no sense and these sickos just get a power trip over themselves, although they would interpret it differently and "blame the owner" or some other excuse to deflect personal and moral responsibility.
    When I worked at madacc I witnessed this all the time, even with some I offered to foster (which would cost them nothing by the way). Anyone who supports this mentality of killing should burn in hell

  3. Day after day after day I read stories like this on the Internet about animal pounds that seem to do all they can to hurt people and kill animals. And most of them are doing it with our tax money. It is so sad. I hope more and more people start to learn about what is really happening in many of our so call animal shelters and demand better.

  4. This doesn't shock me a bit. In 27 years, this place hasn't decreased its killing one bit. That's because these power nuts think that they are doing these poor unsuspecting animals a favor by killing them. These clowns have actually convinced themselves that all the killing they do is a good thing. Don't believe me? Sound a little nuts? Here's one from personal experience. Approximately 10 years ago, 2 dogs were taken to the Fox Valley Humane Society by the dog catchers in Oconto County. Their names were George and Judy Fuller. The 2 dogs belonged to a man named Dean Greetan. Debbie Lewis, the shelter manager, knew that the dogs belonged to this man but didn't like him and, instead of returning the dogs, killed both dogs. She knew those dogs had a home. She knew this man was looking for his dogs but she hid the dogs from him and killed both dogs. Laura Shinkan, the president of Fox Valley, knew all about the Lewis stunt. In fact, I forced Shinkan to produce the records when Lewis kept telling me that the two dogs were in a home having couch time. Shinkan and Lewis were so scared that I was going to the press and the police that they coughed up the records of the two dogs. The records proved that Lewis killed the 2 Greetan dogs. This is standard for these fools. They tell people that the animals have been adopted when they are actually dead. The problem with this place is that the people, who run it, think that being dead in a dumpster is equal to being in a home laying on a couch. That's why they don't care if they kill like crazy. They see themselves as angels of mercy. Of course, I doubt the animals, whose lives they end for no good reason, see them that way. case some Fox Valley sycophant thinks that this isn't true...Debbie Hurst still lives in the area. Lewis and Shinkan gave her the kill cards that proved that they killed the Greetan dogs and I still have the copies!