Shelter mistakenly euthanizes Fla. woman's cat

Officials on the west coast of Florida are crafting new safeguards after mistakenly euthanizing a woman’s cat. Maria Velez’s cat “Buddy” had been quarentined for four days at a Hernando County Animmal Services shelter after biting a pet sitter. But when she and her 11-year-old son went to pick up the orange, tiger-stripe cat they found it had been mistakenly euthanized.

An animal services worker who thought she was calling Buddy’s owner called the wrong person. That person, who had also brought a cat to the shelter, said they did not want the cat and gave permission to have it euthanized. Buddy was euthanized instead.

Code and Animal Services manager for Hernando County, Liana Teague, calls the mistake a “tragedy” and says they will work to make sure it doesn’t thappen again.

Tragedy? Not!
Give me a break, it’s a cat.

Hi didymus,

Maybe I’m taking your comment the wrong way, but I’m pretty sure that to the people who lost “Buddy”, he was not just a “cat”. Once someone takes an animal into their home, they most likely end up loving that animal. My heart has been broken every time we lost an animal companion. People can become very attached to their pets (there is nothing wrong with that). Perhaps you didn’t approve of the word “tragedy” but it is still is a very heart-breaking situation.


This is pretty heartless. You have no idea what this cat may have meant to this family. It’s not a car that you can just go buy a copy of.

“Buddy” had been quarentined for four days at a Hernando County Animmal Services shelter after biting a pet sitter

Read more:

The Pet Sitter gets bit by the cat. I assume the family was out of town and that is why it took them 4 days to pick it up?

It was likely quarrantined for lack of rabies tag. Or, absence of owners to take care of it after the bite.

We just don’t have enough facts here. We don’t even know why a pet sitter was needed. You can take cats most places today. You can have them kenneled also.

Something sounds fishy.

And, I am more interested in the pet sitter and their bite wounds. Bite wounds are serious. Especially if the cat did not have updated shots.

A lengthier news article about the incident is here:

The cat was in quarantine because of lack of a rabies vaccination. The family went to pick up the cat, I guess (its unclear) when the quarantine period was over.


Thanks DaleM. I just had a hunch. And, if that sitter was exposed to rabies due to negligent owners who could not be bothered to vaccinate, well I just say:mad:

I agree with the other poster, and rapidly getting more concerned that charges are not being filed on the pet owner. I have no sympathy for at the moment. The fees for paying a sitter would be more than a vaccination. Oh, we don’t know if the sitter was paid do we?:eek: Or if they had medical coverage to get the rabies shots that I am sure were reccomended!:eek: Can any of you imagine getting rabies shots???

We have NEVER kenneled our cats. We have also NEVER taken them with us. We have always hired someone to pet sit our critters.

Many people also do not vaccinate yearly, ESPECIALLY if the cat is exclusively indoors. Just like people, some cats have bad reactions to vaccines, growing tumors at injection sites.

My question would be…what did the cat sitter do to the cat to make it bite?? :shrug: Most cats do not randomly jump up and bite someone. However, they will bite to get away, defend themselves, etc.


Cats only bite in self defense? Please!

And, hiring a sitter without disclosing that vaccinations were not current is simply wrong. We don’t know if this was done in this case, or even when you hire sitters.
I would look for a current rabies tag myself.
If you notify your sitter that the cat is not up to date on vaccinations, and they are still willing to sit for your cat, I would worry about that person’s mental state.

I have had cats my whole life. I have never gotten bitten. I currently have 3 cats in my home - from 2 to 17 years old. None of them have ever bitten anyone EXCEPT when someone wants to hold one and they want to get down.

If the cats are exclusively indoor, where would they pick up rabies?? (my cats are exclusively indoor cats).

(edited to add these “bites” have never ever broken anyone’s skin. They are mouths firmly put on hands as a warning to “let go now”. Once let go, they jump down, and mosy away).

Do we have any reason to believe that this family’s cat was exclusively indoor? Any?

My cat bites, but not hard enough to break skin. He only bites when he’s being teased, or when he feels stuck in a corner. He has been pet-sat once, only, in his whole life - he hid under the bed the entire time. We take separate vacations so that someone is always home with him.

He was hospitalized once, when he got between my legs at the door and ran out into the street and got hit by a car. I was amazed that he even lived through that - he was not much bigger than my hand, at the time. The bump on his head was bigger than he was. He goes to the vet once a year for his updates, and that’s it. He’s never been sick, other than that one time. He’s seventeen years old this year, and he still acts like a kitten. :slight_smile:

I think I would be pretty upset if he ever got euthanized by accident. I mean, yes, he is only a cat - he’s definitely not a person, but I am used to having him around, and playing with him, and taking care of him.

Since you are responsible, and take your cat for yearly updates, and likely have the rabies tag on the collar like the law requires in many places, you would never have this problem. There are microchips you can put in your pet. That is old technology now. I did it with my dog over 11 years ago.
may she be in bone heaven.

How many cats have you seen in real life that keep collars on?:rolleyes:

I only owned 5 in my life from childhood onwards. I don’t have any now.

3 of my female cats proudly wore their red leather collars with charms and tags. But, I think cats are like people. They are very different, and all have different abilities and limitations.
No one here is thinking about what the sitter is going through. Are there any nurses or doctors that know how many shots one must undergo if rabies is suspected?:confused:

Now THAT was heartless! You have no idea what my cars mean to me.

When is the last time you drove past a car dealer and saw a sign, “free to a good home”?

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