Thanks for posting the link. I don’t know why some Itchmo articles don’t show up, but I’m having the same problem as everyone else.
I can’t say reading it made me very happy though. Sickening.
I’d have to say it took a lot of courage on the director’s part to come clean, even if it took him 10 days to do it. There aren’t many people these days that will do the right thing for the right reason, even when they know there may be a personal price to pay. I hope his community recognizes this is the kind of person needed in positions of responsibility and stick by him.
As for the others, those who abuse the public trust deserve very long prison sentences, not 32 hours of community service.
Another example of kill happy jerks who left in charge, apparently feel powerful when euthanizing helpless animals and they should be punished much more than the ridiculous public service. Putting them in that position will probably enpower them to abuse more. To murder a poor cat for nothing except to kill is UNFORGIVABLE. They should not be allowed to care for animals ever again.
my cats are absolutely never let out- but my newer kittens( i had 20 year old grumpy old cats who no way wanted anything to do with outside, thank you) are very interested in the front door and i have to remember to be real careful when leaving or getting a package delivered etc. there’s always a chance a cat could get out no matter how vigilant you think you are so stories like this are particularly infuriating and heartbreaking because you realize it could happen to you.
and who doesn’t get bit or scratched once and awhile by cats in a shelter? and the first reaction is kill the cat?- strangers touching cats in an unfamiliar territory-you don’t expect rabies unless the animal showed clear symptoms or has a fresh wound of unknown origins. even the shelter’s story/excuse is lame and ignorant. scum bags. what it comes down to is people not doing their jobs properly and not giving a blank about anyone or anything.this is a life we’re dealing with not someone’s underpaid macjob bad day at the coffee shop threw out some scones instead of wrapping them up. these folks did everything they could to reclaim their cat and these cretins couldn’t even listen to some phone messages or read a note? if it was one of my cats i’d want some heads on a platter but in this society it’s only money, not precious life, that makes any difference to people and has any effect on stopping or at the very least highlighting flagrant irresponsible behavior.
I really do not think $50,000 is near enough money.The grief,the agony,the truth would have stoped a needless death. How about $10,000,000.The shelters WILL become more careful and caring.I am sorry for the families loss.
Here’s what the article says:
Owners sue over wrongly euthanized cat
By Mari A. Schaefer
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The family of Whiskers the cat has filed suit against the Delaware County SPCA for euthanizing their pet and then trying to cover up the error.
The civil suit is asking in excess of $50,000.
On Feb. 10, 2006, Kathy Giaconia’s cat, 14-year-old Whiskers, slipped out the door of her mother’s Ridley Park home. An animal control officer picked up the cat and brought it to the SPCA.
Giaconia tried to retrieve her pet, and left phone messages and taped notes to the shelter, which was closed during a snowstorm. She saw Whiskers through the window.
The next day, Giaconia returned to the shelter and was told her cat had bitten an employee and was euthanized to test it for rabies.
But 10 days later, Giaconia received a call from then-shelter director Bill Vernon, who told her the cat did not bite anyone and that his staff made up the story - and sent the pet’s head for testing - to cover up the fact they did not check messages before putting the animal down.
Vernon apologized and offered the family grief counseling. At the time, Vernon said he considered it his “moral failure” that he did not come forward sooner.
The shelter eventually fired three employees and implemented a new procedure for euthanizing animals that now involves holding them for a full 72 hours, cross-checking messages with log books, and a final check by a member of the senior staff.
The SPCA’s former director of operations, Debra Jane Marchetti, 50, of Upland, pleaded guilty to tampering with public records and other related charges. She was sentenced to 32 hours of community service and 12 months of probation Tuesday.