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October 13, 2015

N.J. shelter to review policies after euthanizing cat just hours after receiving it

Animals Shelters
10132015_JusticeforMoe Justice for Moe/Facebook

Moe was put down on Oct. 1, 2015.

Gloucester County Animal Shelter is reviewing its policies after euthanizing a woman's missing cat just hours after it was dropped off by county animal control officers.

Stephanie Radlinger's cat Moe had been missing since July. She received a voicemail on the morning of Oct. 1 stating that her cat was found and was at the Gloucester County Animal Shelter, according to her account on the Facebook page, Justice For Moe.

When she finally got in touch with the shelter around 5 p.m. that same day, a supervisor informed her that he had already been put down due to a bad temperament. 

"No one should ever have to go through this," Radlinger wrote in a post on the page. "Moe wasn't just some stray cat... He was family. RIP Moe, I'm so sorry this happened to you." 

Radlinger, as well as local animal rights activists, are arguing that the shelter violated a recent change to state law that requires animals to be held for seven days before being euthanized, the Courier-Post reports.

"This is a sad situation all around," Gloucester County spokeswoman Debra Sellitto told the Courier-Post. "Since this incident, the animal shelter is going to be reviewing its procedures. If something is found to have been done improperly, staff persons will be dealt with accordingly."

According to the state health department, Gloucester’s feline kill rate was the highest in New Jersey at 69 percent in 2014, when it impounded 2,657 cats and euthanized 1,839.

Read more from the Courier-Post here.