Was my cat killed?

////Was my cat killed?

Question

I signed a surrender contract under great emotional distress, not of sound mind or body and duress, not knowing what I was signing and being pressured to do so by the shelter cat care coordinator. I trusted this shelter was no kill, but as soon as I found out they are a high kill shelter I went back and asked to have my cat back because I feared for his safety. Many Yelp reviews reported the shelter killing their pets in less than 5 days. The shelter refuses to tell me if my cat is dead or alive. Is there any way I can save my cat? Is he already dead? Is the contract I signed legally binding if I signed it in a state of not being of sound mind and body (I have bipolar and was manic at the time). I just want my kitty to be happy and safe. Please help me. He did not, does not deserve to die. It is likely that they did kill him because he has FIV. I love this cat so much. I never would have asked this shelter for help if I had known that they are a high kill shelter. There was nothing on the contract stating that they euthanize. I feel the shelter was misleading and they should have had a proper discussion with me about what it means to sign a surrender contract and the potential fate my cat might endure. Again, I reiterate, I just want my kitty to be happy and they will not tell me anything. I called the shelter for help because my kitty seemed unhappy, most likely from boredom and loneliness from me being gone at work about 10 hours a day. He bit me out of the blue (I was working on my laptop. He was sitting beside me and without warning, just bit me). The wound became infected and I had to get antibiotics. I called the shelter looking for help on how to make my kitty happy. I did NOT call the shelter to have him killed and by the reports of other people who have had horrible experiences with this shelter, having him "put down" is likely what they did! I thought the shelter might know of a family with a dog to be his buddy during the day and an interesting yard for my kitty to explore while on his leash. I took my kitty for walks almost daily with his leash and harness ("walks" I follow him around as he sniffs plants in neighboring yards). I was a very good kitty mom and I will not rest until I know what has happened to my beloved boy. Please help me and my kitty.

Answer

I am so sorry to hear about your cat. It is important to do one’s “homework” before surrendering an animal. It is also important to carefully read the surrender agreement before signing it. These agreements usually provide that disposition of the animal is in the discretion of the shelter and that the person relinquishing the animal has no further legal rights to the animal. Shelters are not generally required to provide re-homing or euthanasia information to people who surrendered an animal unless the shelter agreed to do so (and proving duress would be particularly difficult given that you appeared at the shelter with the cat for the purpose of surrendering the cat).

PLEASE NOTE: Responses to legal inquiries are not meant to replace seeking legal advice from an attorney in your state. The materials in this website and any responses to questions are for informational purposes only and are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. This website, the information contained herein, and any responses to questions directed to this column are not intended to create and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely or act upon any information provided on this website or in any response to your inquiry without seeking the advice of an attorney in your state regarding the facts of your specific situation.

Send Your Pet Legal Question Now!

Elinor will field as many questions as she can and they will be posted here on this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions are answered. However, many individuals have similar questions. You may find helpful information in the categories listed below.

Ask a Legal Question

By |2019-10-04T13:24:05+00:00October 4th, 2019|