Atmore kittens poisoned

Published 11:46 am Monday, October 15, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Imagine an ordinary morning, you wake up, get your children ready for school and you send them on their way. However, when they step out the front door it turns out to not be such an ordinary morning. Your beloved pets are lying in your yard dead.
It is a tragic scenario, but it happens, according to the director of the Humane Society of Escambia County Renee Jones.
Jones said on Oct. 2 an Atmore woman who lives on West Road and her child found six of their cats lying dead in their yard.
"She got up that morning to take her kids to the bus," Jones said. "Her son stepped out to go to the bus stop and six of their cats were out there dead. They were all laying out there like they had been placed there."
Jones said the Humane Society is not 100 percent certain that the cats were poisoned, but it seems to be the most likely cause of death.
"We don't know all the answers," Jones said. "There didn't appear to be any external wounds like a dog or coyote had gotten to them. It was sort of like someone was trying to make a statement and we know that's sort of a common practice in the rural South. The cats were bleeding from the mouth and they had some type of greasy substance on their mouth."
Jones said it is possible that the cats got into some type of toxic substance, but she does not feel that is the case because of the way the cats were lying in the yard.
"We don't know if that's what happened, but we think it was because they were set in a neat circle in the front yard," she said.
Jones said the Humane Society often responds to calls where animals are annoying to the neighborhood. However, taking the problem into your own hands by harming the animal is not the correct way to handle things, she said.
"We do recognize that for folks who don't have cats, if their neighbors have a lot of cats it can be a nuisance," she said. "We respond to calls all the time where people have a number of cats and you can't fence a cat in, if they are outside they will leave the yard. But, the main issue is that they can call us and we'll set live traps."
Before calling the Humane Society, Jones said it is a good idea to speak with the owner of the pets first.
"The first thing you want to do is to go talk to the owner because to people who own cats, those things (annoyances) aren't a big deal to them and they don't recognize that it's a problem for others," she said. "We encourage people to speak to the neighbors themselves and ask if there is some way to contain them (pets) and if not, we will come out and set live traps."
Jones said the traps the Humane Society sets do not hurt the animals in any way. Pets who are caught in the traps will be taken to the Humane Society and if no one claims them, they will be put up for adoption.
The best way to take care of a neighbor's annoying pet is to either talk to the neighbor or call the Humane Society for help. According to Jones, injuring or causing death to an animal for an unjustifiable reason is a class C felony if you are caught.
"We are here and we are handling the entire county and we will respond if we get called," Jones said.
If anybody has any information about the incident on West Road, call the Humane Society at 368-0859.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox