He was once someone's pet. He was neutered and declawed.
by the time the orange tabby cat arrived at the Bayville Veterinary
Hospital, he was emaciated and covered with fleas. Berkeley Township
Animal Control Officer John Bober had received a call that the cat was
too weak to get up and was lying on someone's lawn.
As soon as
veterinary assistant Rhianna Saling picked the cat up, he began purring
and kneading her uniform. They fed him, gave him medication for fleas
and kept him overnight. Dr. Glenn R. McDowell gave him a preliminary
examination and thought the cat could be anemic from the fleas, Saling
"He was purring up a storm," she said. "He was gobbling the
food down. We called animal control back and said we saw no reason to
euthanize him. He just needed some time to get rid of the fleas and get
None of the animal hospital's staff were
able to keep the cat, since they already have numerous cats of their
own. Three cats that were once strays live full-time at the hospital.
The staff posted his picture and a description on Facebook, looking for potential adopters.
"He will be
taken to the Stafford Animal Shelter shortly. If you know someone who he
might belong to ( or who might be in the market for a ridiculously
sweet cat) tell them to go and check him out. We hope he has luck
finding a home!!!!
But no one stepped forward.
Berkeley Township Animal Control came to take the cat down to the
Southern Ocean Animal Shelter in Manahawkin, they kissed him goodbye and
hoped for the best.
Saling said she called the Southern Ocean
shelter four or five times to see how the cat was doing and was told he
had been placed on the "adoption floor" of the shelter.
asked how many days he had at the shelter until it was possible he would
be euthanized and was told eight days. She asked to be kept informed of
"I was going to take him if they were going to euthanize him," Saling said.
So she was shocked when she called on Monday to learn that the cat had been euthanized on Oct. 4.
"That was really disappointing," Saling said.
County Animal Shelter Director Brian Lippai checked the cat's records
and said he had become sick quickly after he arrived at the shelter,
stopped eating and had profuse diarrhea. So the decision was made to put
People need to understand that animal shelters are
very stressful, even for a cat or dog in good condition. It's not
unusual for an animal to just stop eating, Lippai said.
"They can go very quickly," he said.
Shelters do not have the medical staff on board to handle all the medical problems that may arise.
The cat was put down due to his medical condition, Lippai said.
"It wasn't an issue of space," he said. "We're pretty full up, but not that full up."
Lippai and Saling said that pet owners need to step up, be responsible,
have their animals spayed or neutered and realize that pet ownership is
a lifelong task.
Both the Northern and Southern Ocean County
animals shelters have active volunteer groups who foster and try to find
homes for them, Lippai said.
Saling said the Southern Ocean
shelter manager called her back later Monday and apologized. Although
she had called a number of times to check on his condition, only one
call had been recorded, Saling was told.
Even though she would
have taken the cat if she had been informed he was going to be
euthanized, she's grateful the cat died in a safe facility, rather than
suffering out on the streets.