November 18, 2014 08:39PM
By Leigh Tauss
WALLINGFORD —When Kim Palmer returned to her Pond Hill Road home on Nov. 12, she could not find her 21-year-old cat Zima. She searched the street until a neighbor told her to check with Animal Control.
She drove down to the Pent Road Animal Control shelter and waited. Two women pulled up in a van. They told her the cat had been euthanized due to possible rabies.
“She didn’t have rabies, she was vaccinated,” Kim Palmer said.
A short time later, Palmer returned with her husband Scott but the door was locked. A week later they still do not know why Zima was euthanzied.
“If they have an answer good or bad just tell us,” Kim Palmer said.
Assistant Animal Control officer Rachel Amenta said Wednesday she had no comment on the situation.
Attorney Scott Ouellette, who has experience with animal euthanasia cases, said there are no laws on the books concerning roaming cats.
“When it comes to state statutes and regulations there’s nothing specifically regarding roaming cats and my understanding is they’ll typically leave a roaming cat alone unless there’s a reason to pick them up,” Ouellette said.
Ouellette said in cases where rabies is suspected an Animal Control officer may be given substantial discretion when it comes to euthanizing a pet.
“If it’s a rabies situation and it’s a roaming cat that may be a scenario where the Animal Control officer has in their discretion to put down an animal in the interest of public safety,” Ouellette said.
Scott Palmer said they took Zima two years ago from a neighbor who no longer wanted her. They converted a shack in their backyard to a cat house complete with several warm beds, a heater, and a place to climb. They even installed a window so she could enjoy the sunlight.
Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said he had not been informed of the situation Wednesday.