Healthy Cat Euthanized, Shelter Refuses Offers to Save the CatPublished April 26, 2012
Flickr User Robert Couse-Baker
Gobermatz assumes her dismissal was due to questioning management about their decision to euthanize a two year-old Siamese cat named Lorelei. Lorelei was set to be put to sleep because the shelter considered the cat too aggressive to be adopted. Gobermatz contested the decision, and was fired just a few days before the cat was put to sleep.
The cat had been dropped off last November in a pet carrier at the shelter. No one on the shelter staff understood why the cat had been abandoned since she was so sweet and responsive. She would seek people’s attention by rolling over on her back and she loved to play.
But according to Tom Van Winkle, the executive director of the Oak Park facility, somehow this affectionate, gentle kitty turned into the cat from hell, attacking staff and volunteers, even drawing blood. Since this type of aggression is not considered normal feline behavior, Van Winkle determined the cat would never be suitable for adoption. Exempt from the shelter's no-kill policy are animals in intractable pain, or those who are too aggressive to be rehabilitated. Van Winkle claims that Gobermatz’s dismissal was based solely on issues related to her performance.
According to an article in the Examiner, Gobermatz who had been working for almost over a year as a part-time adoption counselor at the shelter, with considerable experience working with feral cats, volunteered to take on Lorelei as a foster cat at home, so the kitty had a chance to be rehabilitated. Her request to try to save the cat was denied. Gobermatz, who is passionate about saving animals, is also the National News Editor of Horseback Magazine.
Stepping up to the plate as well to rescue Lorelei was Best Friends Sanctuary, the facility in Utah that took in Michael Vick's fighting Pit bull dogs. Best Friends Sanctuary offered a home for the cat while she was still alive. Additionally Treehouse, a respected Chicago cat facility, also volunteered to take her in. Despite these organizations agreeing not to hold Animal Care League liable in the future, Van Winkle denied their generous requests, as well.
This writer is extremely frustrated and angry about what appears to be an arbitrary decision to euthanize this cat. Since Gobermatz had previously notified Van Winkle that Lorelei was becoming stressed out from being transported with other cats and dogs to noisy and hectic outdoor events, coupled with the generous offers to save the kitty by legitimate and respected no-kill sanctuaries, I feel strongly that Lorelei’s life was tragically snuffed out.
With patience and understanding of feline behavior, along with respecting the special needs for security and safety that cats crave, there is no reason to euthanize a cat due to aggressive behavior until every stone is turned in an attempt to save their lives.
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