Tucson Tails: A cat named Garfield died from neglectby Karyn Zoldan on Oct. 19, 2013, under Animal News, Cats Meow, Feline Fun
A cat named Garfield died yesterday (10/17).
Submitted by Ellen Miller, PACC volunteer
“Many people, including veterinarians, animal rescuers, volunteers, and animal advocates, tried to save his life, but the people he needed the most let him down.
Garfield, was e-listed (scheduled to be killed) on Wednesday without any notification to local rescues. A PACC volunteer happened to see him in the hallway leading to “U-Bay,” where they euthanize animals. She posted a photo on PACC Pets Need You, a volunteer-run Facebook page.
Two people from local rescues [Beth Montes and Thia Stevens-Denae] left a total of three messages on the PACC Rescue Line voicemail committing to pulling Garfield and one of the rescuers [Thia] also sent emails to the Rescue Coordinator’s email address and to the acting shelter manager.
This rescuer [Thia] received a response to her email, “This cat is at risk it is marked for right now are you wanting it?” and Thia immediately responded “Yes!!!”.
The transport [Cathy Wallis] was then sent immediately to go get Garfield.
When the transporter [Cathy] arrived, the intake door was locked and a sign-up sheet was placed outside on a table. When she was able to get through, a staff member had to run to “U-Bay” to prevent Garfield from being killed.
If the transporter [Cathy] had been a few minutes later, Garfield would have needlessly died.
It was clear that nobody at PACC had checked the rescue line before the killing procedure started. Later attempts to call the rescue voicemail and the acting shelter manager’s voicemail [by Beth Montes] found that they were full, indicating they had not been checked all day.
This would have made it nearly impossible for rescue attempts for other animals to occur. Who knows how many animals may have died needlessly when there may have been messages from rescues or adopters willing to save them?
The Garfield incident occurred only a day after the rescue community, the public, and the media pulled together to support PACC and saved all 12 urgent cats in response to a crisis.
In all, more than 50 cats were adopted or rescued in the previous two days (Monday and Tuesday). It shows a shocking contempt for and lack of cooperation with the rescues and the community responsible for saving so many cats.
Since the departure of the Rescue Coordinator, Rachel Molyneux, at the end of September, it seems PACC has quickly reverted back to its old ways.
The Rescue Coordinator position remains unfilled almost a month after being vacated and PACC knew it would be vacated some time before that. There is also no full-time, qualified Shelter Manager at this time. Why have these vital positions been allowed to be vacated without qualified, full-time replacements? Many amply qualified people have submitted their applications and interest in the Rescue Coordinator position even though it has never been posted.
The delay in filling both of these vacancies and lack of a sense of urgency is clearly creating an intolerable situation.
During the tenure, of the former Rescue Coordinator, Rachel Molyneux, there were marked improvements with responsiveness, follow up and proactive outreach to rescues. In less than a month this has quickly reverted back to the days of killing first and checking rescue lines and voicemails later. There must be immediate policy improvements to prevent this from continuing. We also feel it is important that the person covering the rescue duties be present, accessible, and proactively engaging the Rescue Community and advocates in solutions.
Garfield was rescued, but it was too late. He died yesterday afternoon at the emergency vet’s office. The diagnosis was neglect; he had not eaten or drunk in about a week and was severely constipated. He could not stand or walk. Every effort was made to save his life, but he had been let down by the very people charged with his care and welfare.”
Ellen Miller spoke about the problems at the October Pima Animal Care Center (county pound) Advisory meeting during the “call to the audience.”
(Blogger’s note: Thank you Ellen for sharing. What you say is quite disturbing and PACC needs to rectify this situation — more knowledgeable personnel in place, checking the rescue line, avoiding neglect as a diagnosis. This cannot be business as usual. Who is making personnel accountable? What solutions are being put in place right now?
What Tucson Tails finds disturbing is calling Garfield an “it.” Is that the attitude of the people who work at PACC? Are these dogs and cats gender-less and considered “it,” things, inanimate, discarded? The name Garfield suggests a male.
Go to a No Kill Pima County meeting.