Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – It’s heartbreaking to lose a beloved pet. But imagine if he was euthanized by local animal control before you even knew he was missing.
Candice Alexander said they called Calcasieu Animal Services to pick up a feral cat, but she said they also took her cat who was outside.
The cat’s name was “Wobbles”. He had a neurological problem that made him wobble when he walked. This endeared him to the owner, Alexander, who said Wobbles was picked up and euthanized before he even knew the cat was missing.
“I don’t understand why we never had the chance to realize he was gone before he was euthanized without veterinary care. I was devastated. he was part of the family,” Alexander said.
Calcasieu Animal Services officials will not publicly discuss individual cases.
But manager Claire Terracina said they have the power to euthanize an animal on short notice if it is injured or sick and in pain.
“Tagged animals, we take them a little differently. We try to get in touch with the owner and let him know that his animal has been seriously injured. How would you like us to respond? If it’s to the point where we feel an animal is in pain that it needs to happen, then yes,” Terracina said.
She said that normally stray dogs are held for at least five days before being assessed to see if they can be adopted.
She said they were working to get cats and dogs up for adoption and showed which ones are currently available. They include a gorgeous white cat, a red tabby and a mother cat with a new litter of kittens. They will be available when they are a little bigger.
And there are plenty of dogs, in kennels, cleared for adoption, who jump and bark in full view of people who come to visit.
Terracina said the best way to make sure your cat or dog gets home safely is to have it microchipped, which makes it easier to identify the owner.
“Every animal that comes through our doors, whether through an officer or through our front door,” Terracina said.
Alexander said they thought Wobbles was chipped, but it turned out he wasn’t.
Still, she said changes were needed to prevent such accidents, including more detailed records documenting details of animals picked up. In the case of Wobbles, she said a call to the number of the person who reported the wildcat would have resolved the question of who Wobbles belonged to.
“Why didn’t they call us? Why did it take them 12 days to realize that they had retrieved an animal from his home? said Alexander.
Ultimately, she said a no-kill shelter was needed, which Calcasieu officials say is their goal.
Terracina said if you move or get a new phone number, contact the chip company to update the information.
Also, she said they are trying to resume the use of volunteers. Those interested can contact the animal service of Calcasieu.
Click here to read Calcasieu’s Animal Control Ordinance.
Click here to see which local animals are approved for adoption and which strays are held.
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