Couple Outraged Over Animal Services Putting Down Pet Cat

Mark Serra is mourning the death of his pet cat, Krinkles. And he blames Mississauga Animal Services in Ontario, Canada for his cat’s death.

Serra and his wife were away on a week-long vacation in Europe when Krinkles strayed away from home. Mississauga Animal Services picked up the black cat.

Krinkles had been microchipped by Mississauga Animal Services earlier in the year, and he also wore a collar with contact information on it.

Even with that information, unfortunately, Krinkles was euthanized in the animal shelter. Serra and his wife came home on October 14 to find a letter from the animal shelter saying that they had picked up Krinkles as a stray. The deadline, October 10, to pick up their cat before he became the shelter’s property had already passed.

The shelter staff said that Krinkles was aggressive and had been euthanized because they thought he could not be adopted.

But Serra is upset that none of his family was contacted even with Krinkles being microchipped and wearing a collar.

He said, “They had the attitude they had exhausted all their measures, which they didn’t,” he said. “They could have called my mom, who loved the cat, or my wife’s parents, but they didn’t. It’s an animal service … they’re supposed to protect them.”

Serra said he is frustrated by a lack of response from Mississauga Animal Services and why nothing was done to try and contact Krinkles’ family.

Source: Toronto Sun

20 thoughts on “Couple Outraged Over Animal Services Putting Down Pet Cat

  1. This is outrageous. What’s the point in having your pet ‘protected’ with a microchip if it is just going to be ignored? Too aggressive to be adopted out? Once again, a cat which is afraid being measured by dog standards. And if it is microchipped, they should not be adopting it out anyway, until the owner is contacted. Yet they know enough about the owner to send them a notice that their pet is dead. I hope they sue.

  2. I hate that some shelters still test according to, as nancy g says “dog standards”.

    My boy will be put down if he’s ever “rescued”, cause he’s very very scared at heart. he tollerates me picking him up, but even “daddy” gets him riled up if he’s picked up. **but** he comes and sleeps with us, he cuddles up next to “daddy” at night, he purrs loudly. As long as he is not feeling *traped* or *threatened*.

    but he’s going to feel traped and treatened if he’s picked up.

    Lucikly, our shelter first tries to foster out its ferels, so that’s a good thing.

    and nancy you make a second great point. WHY IS MY CAT CHIPPED, if it means you will put it down in just 1 week. people do go on vaction, and that usually means the cat is already upset. it may well run out of the house when the sitter comes. and sitters are often not as likely to chase him or her down. or, even if they are likely, aren’t as successful – since they still are not “family.”

    grrrr… I know shelters are under lots of stress financinally, but stories like this just mean their policies are BAD.

  3. From the Toronto Sun: “Before they left on vacation, the couple told a housesitting cousin at their Hurontario St.-QEW area home that Krinkles was “missing, but we weren’t concerned,” he said.

    Serra said he only learned this week the cat had been turned in to the Central Parkway W. shelter by a citizen the day before they left.”

    How in the world could they have gone to Europe when their cat was missing?????? This whole tragic event could have been prevented if the cat was kept INDOORS. It’s up to the OWNER to do the right thing by their animal and keep it safe!

    Also from the Toronto Sun: “Michaud said a phone message was left Oct. 6 at the couple’s home.

    Staff also mailed and hand-delivered two letters to Wojcik, the supervisor said, adding the cat was kept almost twice the time limit for an impounded pet under a city bylaw.”

    People need to stop thinking that they can do anything they want and someone else will pick up the pieces after them.

  4. Back to Nathan Winograd again. Mississauga Animal Services is a city agency that brings in funds from licensing pets. If it is anything like Toronto Animal Services (Mississauga is a suburb), the euthanasia rate is far too high. In 2005, 46% of the cats brought in to MAS were euthanized.

  5. I am right with you, Jackie. For all the shelter knew, the owners were gone for good, or in jail or who knows what. How were they supposed to know “next of kin” information? While I do agree with other posters that cats are put down far more often then they need to be in many shelters, they had no obligation to keep the animal or expend more resources trying to find someone (like the owner’s mother) who would take it in.

    To the owner’s statement that “It’s an animal service … they’re supposed to protect them.” They protect homeless animals. Your cat is owned and it is YOUR responsibility to protect him. I know when something like this happens, you want someone to blame. But ultimately you must look tto yourself.

  6. I agree with the posts about the owner’s assessment of the risk of letting the cat roam while the family was on vacation, especially in a busy suburb.

    On the other hand, we can only guess at the shelter’s standards from the amount of time they kept the cat, and that would be as far as their obligation would go. However, when one compares some of these municipal agencies that are funded by tax dollars, to shelters like the Toronto Humane Society (the large downtown agency that is funded by donors not taxpayers) which strive toward no-kill goals, it’s possible that the municipal agencies could reconsider their obligations and provide value. With apologies to those shelter staff who are genuinely caring, these bureaucratic government agencies are just another city department, and none that I have seen here have been dedicated to any real re-homing goals.

    This province is also sadly behind the times in terms of meaningful anti-cruelty legislation.

  7. This is a very interesting topic to cover, and I am glad you did. So many people are unaware of the feelings and emotions dogs express. All shelters should be no-kill shelters, but the truth of the matter is that too many animals are being dropped off there, and they just don’t have the room. It is such a sad situation. On my site:, I write interesting and informative posts, check them out sometime! I look forward to your comments!

  8. Yes, Nathan Winograd says it best. The “Shelters” have made the public who would normally help them the most and support the shelters the “Enemy”. And just as the Shelters themselves are now the “Enemy”! PATHETIC and not an intelligent move. So many of the Animal Shelters seem to be on some sort of muderous mission power trip when these actions are taken. WHY?

  9. Nathan Winograd would also say think OUT OF THE BOX. Did they even try to go to any of the neighbors? Where their any empty cages? Did they even look in the phone book? It takes extra work to try to save the babies, instead of the same old, same old. Great pr but bet they want a raise next year. I think we should always ask some questions before we kill.

  10. Well said (as usual), Jenny Bark. Think out of the box? Not in the job description for these agencies, kthx bai.

  11. On the other hand, Mark Serra decided that his trip to Europe couldn’t be moved off, and he also didn’t notify anyone that his cat was missing (am I correct here?)

    My dear old cat went missing 2 years ago. He was 15 and had CRF. He sneaked out the back door while I was letting the dogs out, and over the back fence before I knew he was gone. He was gone for 4 days before he came back. I had flyers up all over the neighbourhood within a 4 block radius, and also took time off work to distribute flyers door-to-door.

    He has not been out since, and now that he is 17, I’ve made 100% sure of it.

    Regardless, and maybe I’m in the minority here, I could never have taken off to Europe for a week with that on my conscience. I was devastated when he was gone (although the second time, I figured he knew his way back, but I was still devastated).

    Was Mark Serra’s cat an outdoor cat? It shouldn’t have been. Mississauga isn’t exactly idyllic farmland; it’s a thriving bedroom suburb with very busy roads and jowl-to-cheek housing. Yet he high-tailed off to Europe for a week. Notwithstanding that MAS could have been a lot less bureaucratic since they chipped the cat in the first place and probably charged Serra for the license, WTF does he have to be “outraged” about?

    Is he gonna remain outraged, or do something about changing the system?

  12. If the cat was picked up the day before a week long trip does that mean the shelter only keeps lost pets for less than 7 days? The shelter left a message on the 6th and the poor cat was gone before the 14th? Is this normal?

  13. kb, the MAS has a policy that after 3 days of trying to contact the owner, the pet becomes city property and they can euthanize. They claimed that they gave Serra twice that amount of time (6 days). If this is normal (and I think it is for animal control here), it shouldn’t be. And it seems pretty abnormal that they would hand-deliver notices to his home, yet not realize that he wasn’t there, or ask a neighbour where he was. Other shelters here such as the Toronto Humane Society do not operate like this; they aim for no-kill.

    There are some discrepancies to Serra’s story about when he realized the cat was missing. If I’m interpreting the reporting correctly, one article seems to suggest the cat was lost before he left on vacation but he wasn’t concerned; another suggests he didn’t know about the loss when he left.

    Also, the MAS supervisor, Janet Michaud, claims MAS can do better, but…

    “The cat’s fate was sealed after Michaud said the neutered ex-tomcat “showed his nails” and swatted at her “when I touched him.”

  14. Thanks for the info and links, shibadiva. I’m just sitting here shaking my head. There were 6 phone numbers on the tag and they only called one. And the shelter does not want to acknowledge that a frightened cat in a cage might not acclimate in 3 days. I’ve house sat for cats that were still hiding under the bed after a week. And to add insult to injury they billed the owners. I hope this brings about a policy change, called Krinkles’ Law.

  15. ” “The cat’s fate was sealed after Michaud said the neutered ex-tomcat “showed his nails” and swatted at her “when I touched him.” ”

    It’s a cat. A frightened one.

    Friggin idiotic MAS.

  16. when my elderly cats started showing their ages and eventually required daily medications/ care i simply stopped going on vacation. the only person i would have trusted to care for them moved away and i couldnt imagine boarding them or having a stranger paid to come to the house. theyre my responsibility. my pleasures take a back seat to their care.

    too many people want to foist the care and protection of their animals off on others. while i dont agree with how many shelters are run i also realize theyre understaffed and under funded and often overpopulated with actual unwanted stray animals.while the shelter should have been more aggressive in tracking down the owners of a tagged animal with ids, people have to wake up to realities-you have to make adequet arrangements for the safety of your pets when youre away. there is always a risk that an outdoor cat in particular in many areas is susceptable to harm. cats are especially unsuited to being forced into unfamiliar restrictive environments and react accoprding to their nature .we can yammer on about how things ought to be but we really need to act in accordance with actualities. you need to be a little more vigilent in regards to your animals safety because you cannot count on strangers to do the right thing. looking to the government to nanny your pets is unwise and generally ends in tears. a little active taking of responsibility would be the end of most of these very sad tales.

  17. After reading the article about the so-called artist in Costa Rica that starved the dog to death, the cops that left their canine partners in hot cars to die, and pet stores that leave outdated food on the shelves, I have come to the startling conclusion that I hate people. There I said it. Lots of people are cruel and have no regard for life, human or animal. Pain, sorrow, fear means nothing to these people ( and I use that term lightly). They don’t care and will not admit that animals have feelings. While they (animals) can’t do higher math, they do feel. Animals are innocent and pure. People can suck.

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  19. Animal Services = animal control.Paid by the state by the volume of animals destroyed. Dig deep. You won’t like what you find. A ploy to appeal to the soft side of people that love animals. Animal services is a hard core money maker for the states. DIG very deep.Your findings will out rage you ! I no longer support the local group when I found the states pays them $300,000 a year to “control” the animal population. They used radio air time to beg for money.I got involved,…………….what I found lies and misleading the public.I am so sorry for the loss of of a mirco chiped pet.If animal services “cared” the pet would have been held and returned.

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