Jimmy the cat's killing fuels protest in Woodbury

Categories: Animals
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Around 100 people plan to protest Jimmy's death at Wednesday's Woodbury City Council meeting.
The sad story of Jimmy the cat is prompting some Woodbury residents to say they are "embarrassed" to live in the city.

Jimmy, a diabetic, grey-striped tabby, was killed on December 9 at the Woodbury Animal Humane Society, days after the death of his owner, Woodbury resident Mary Ray.

There was just one rather large problem -- Ray, 71, had left her entire estate, including Jimmy, to Hastings-based Animal Ark, the state's largest no-kill animal shelter.

The Pioneer Press reports that Ray died in her house in early December, but it was days before her body was discovered by police. Jimmy, in poor health, was with her. The police sent the cat to the Humane Society, which has a contract with Woodbury for animal-control services.

Despite the fact that Ray had left her family out of her will, Woodbury police then called one of Ray's daughters to ask what should be done with Jimmy. The daughter, knowing the cat was diabetic and believing other family members wouldn't want it, didn't express reservations about euthanizing Jimmy.

In a statement published on its website, Animal Ark Executive Director Mike Fry expresses outrage about Jimmy's "likely illegal" killing.

He writes:
If the owner of a lost pet comes to AHS to reclaim it, the owners of those pets are required to appear in person, and provide proof of ownership before the pet is release to them. Yet, in this case, AHS, acting as an agent of the City of Woodbury, killed a cat, reportedly at the request of a phone caller, and without giving the actual owners of the animal any opportunity to respond.

This situation is unconscionable, and, I believe, a violation of state law. Furthermore it is inconsistent with the stated goals of both AHS and the City of Woodbury. It is also not particularly unique. Other cases of AHS killing animals in violation of Minnesota State Law have also been reported.
According to Woodbury Patch, in defense of their actions, police have pointed out that they had no knowledge of Ray's will when handling Jimmy over to the Humane Society.

Woodbury Police Sgt. Neil Bauer said "it is unfortunate that the descendent's wishes were not implemented upon [Ray's] death, but added that "considering the information that was available at the time, the City made reasonable efforts to provide care for the cat until next of kin could act upon the descendent's wishes."

But Animal Ark counters that the Humane Society is legally obligated to hold cats like Jimmy for at least five business days, which may have been enough time to sort out rightful ownership.

In any event, Jimmy's death has some Woodbury residents planning to protest the city's contract with the Humane Society during this Wednesday's City Council meeting.

The Pioneer Press quotes 15-year resident Debbie Long as saying the Jimmy fiasco makes her "embarrassed" to live in Woodbury.

"This is a horrific thing for us, to know our taxpaying dollars to for euthanizing pets like this," she said. "Maybe they should be called the Inhumane Society."
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17 comments
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AJ
AJ

More proof that we need to become a no kill metropolitan area or there will continue to be organizations like the Humane Society who will take donations of people intending to help animals and make decisions based on money.  No one who truly has animals' best interests at heart could run a kill shelter.  First Jimmy lost his owner who obviously loved him based on the provisions she made in her will for him, then he lost his life.  With all the money the HS has, they should have taken the time and effort to find the owner's wishes.  Or better yet, not kill Jimmy.  He was only 7.  Why couldn't he have been given the chance to adopted?  Isn't that what shelters are supposed to do?  If their "adoptable" standards don't include a 7 year year old cat (ours are 15, 14, and 10 and they are extremely healthy and active) with diabetes, I hope their standards don't ever get applied to people.  I don't think people who donate to them would agree with their adoptability standards, but who would ever know unless situations like this come to light?  I think the Humane Societies need to be reformed, and their policies need to be released in a very public way, or they need to go the way of the dinosaur and be replaced by much more humane no-kill shelters.

newmy
newmy

I think the writer intends to use the word 'decedent' instead of 'descendent' when referring to the person who died.  Makes an odd story all the more confusing.

Sparky
Sparky

"Occupy Pussy"??  Now we're just degenerating into cheap frat jokes.......

Guy
Guy

The "occupy" brand is getting stretched a little thin here, don't you think?

Sad to see a cat die needlessly, though.

Matt Bona
Matt Bona

White people problems.

Terry Crowell Kindley
Terry Crowell Kindley

What is your problem---other than a lack of caring, prejudice, and the ability to make people instantly dislike you!

Out
Out

shut up

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

I was walking with my girlfriend down a sidewalk one day last year, in the Summit-Hill neighborhood, when we were approached by a thin black man with an unhealthy look and yellow eyes. His name was Peter. He proceeded to tell us his story (military veteran, homeless), only interrupting to watch two women with purebred dogs walk by, then saying "people like this care more about getting luxury dogfood than people living on the street." After his story was over, Peter asked if I could help him, but I didn't have cash, and told him I was just barely getting by myself. I offered to take him into the nearby church to ask for help, but he got angry and asked again for money. He then motioned towards my girlfriend's purse, and when I put my hands up and said "whoah," Peter raised his fists and shouted at me not to touch him.  His eyes were fierce, and as we backed away he told me "you'll never know what it's like to struggle motherfucker. Every day you're life will be easy." Scared and on alert, my girlfriend and I walked away, while Peter stood and stared at us for two blocks.

Back home we were shaken, but my girlfriend (who was hesitant to even talk to Peter until I convinced her) told me she understood why people could care so much for animals but seem to disregard other humans. Pets are purely innocent, have no choices, and are dependant on humans for their protection. My cat has never harmed me or threatened my safety, and treats me with affection because I'm kind to him.

Human life is sacred, of course, but humans have far more rights than animals, and many more resources available to them. Protecting all innocent creatures is everyone's obligation.

Zeroisanumber
Zeroisanumber

Peter was an ass who was putting his shit on you, and a sterling example of why I don't give people who approach me on the street the time of day.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

I give to people.  If your sucks so much you have to beg for money I think I can spare 48 cents. 

Research
Research

It depends for me.  One look and if they seem to have hope and can put a smile on, I'll throw something their way.

Ken
Ken

I had a roomate with a cat that scratched me all up.  Don't talk to me about "purely innocent" little satanic felines.

Terry Crowell Kindley
Terry Crowell Kindley

Besides being "purely innocent", they are also excellent judges of character!!

Guy
Guy

wow, you're fun.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

There are a lot of reasons why a cat would be aggresive, and many of those could be used to justify Peter's aggression towards me. A history of abuse, fear of the unknown, forced attention that creates anxiety (i.e. you trying to pet a cat that obviously doesn't want to be touched). But in all those situations, Peter would have a choice. He could leave the area, seek help from homeless shelters or call the police if he were being attacked or mistreated. That cat had no choice but to live with you, and (barring severe abuse or mental/physical illness) cats and other animals don't go out of their way to bother people. They don't ask for help, and they aren't allowed to blame others for their problems.

I understand the reality of animal overpopulation. We breed too many pets and abandon the responsibility, and in many cases euthanasia is the most humane treatment available. My only point is that the welfare of animals is not some superficial worry of the privileged. Humans consistently impose their will on the Earth and the rest of its inhabitants, so we have a duty to care for the victims of our selfishness. That means the poor, the abused, and all living things that can't defend themselves.

MK
MK

:(  I haven't supported AHS in years. They are notorious for the unnecessary destruction ("euthanasia") of healthy animals. 

GRoundedINnerCHild
GRoundedINnerCHild

That's what I've been calling them since the Golden Valley "humane" society lied to me about my cats, that had been stolen from me, taken there, and lied about.I called, they said they had them and that I could pick them up. When I went in to get them, they didn't have them, and wouldn't try to get them back for me.I was the "dirtball," never mind someone had lied to them in the first place.I haven't trusted them since.Any of them.

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