WALLINGFORD — The town Law Department released a report Wednesday detailing the process the Animal Control Division followed in euthanizing a Pond Hill Road family’s pet cat.
Kim and Scott Palmer, the cat’s owners, asked for an explanation after they say they were told the cat was put down due to possible rabies. An animal control officer initially declined to comment in a story that appeared in Wednesday’s Record-Journal.
The report states that the animal was brought to the Pent Road Animal Control facility at approximately 9 a.m. Nov. 12. The cat was assessed by Animal Control Officer Julia Burdacki who observed that the animal had dilated pupils, was unsteady on its feet, did not react to a hand waved in front of its face, responded negatively to human contact and had “something hanging out of its mouth,” the report said.
“When I looked at these symptoms all together, I became very concerned for the well being of this cat,” Burdacki wrote in the report. “This cat was gravely ill, beyond the resources of the shelter. I decided that in the interest of this cat it would likely be most humane to euthanize...”
The cat was taken to the North Haven Animal Hospital and evaluated by a veterinarian who agreed the cat should be euthanized, according to the report.
Later it was decided that as a secondary precaution the animal should be tested for rabies because it had been in contact with multiple people. The cat tested negative for rabies.
Assistant Animal Control Officer Rachel Amenta said protocol was followed that day.
“Every once in a while we will receive a call for an injured animal and sometimes there’s not anything that can be done for the animal,” Amenta said. “I think that what was done was done in the best interest of the cat.”
Animal Control Division Supervisor Raymond Connors said any animal suspected to have rabies must be seen by two veterinarians before being euthanized. An injured animal only needs to be seen by one veterinarian.
He said the owner does not need to be contacted before the animal is euthanized.
“Cats aren’t required to have any kind of ID or license on it so unless the animal has a microchip there’s no way of tracing the owner,” Connors said.
According to owner Kim Palmer, the cat, Zima, was not wearing a collar. The 21-year-old cat was also deaf and blind, however, Palmer said two weeks ago a veterinarian examined the cat and said it was in good health considering its age.
Town Attorney Janis Small provided the report. She said it appeared Animal Control was acting appropriately.
“They did their job,” Small said. “They acted as they deemed appropriate.”
Small said she believed the family would be provided with the report.
“I would expect the animal control officer is going to get something to them,” Small said.
Amenta said a copy of the report was given to the police department to be delivered to the Palmers Wednesday.
As of Wednesday night, Kim Palmer said she had not received a copy of the report.