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Bemidji police too quick to euthanize stray kitten

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Approximately two weeks ago, I saved a small kitten that was cowering on the side of the highway. I ran out to grab her, knowing if I didn't she would be run over and killed. In times of heightened fear, cats will defend themselves by biting. I was well aware of that risk when I grabbed the kitten and ran her to my car. In her state of terror she did bite me, but to me it was an acceptable risk.

I then brought her to the Law Enforcement Center. I informed the animal control officer I wanted to give her a home after the quarantine period was up; since she was a kitten, rehabilitation would be easy. I have done cat rehabilitation many times in the past. A week later I went to check on her and her status.

I received a voice mail from one officer that another officer would not release her. I went back to law enforcement and spoke to the animal control officer, who said he didn't know anything at that point. I begged him to call me when he found out what was going on, and told him I would even sign a waiver for the city so I could claim her. I heard nothing until a voice mail late Sunday night from an ooficer who stated since she was a biter (which she only did to me out of fear) he would not release her but I was welcome to speak to him about it. So on Monday ... I went over to law enforcement to talk to him only to be informed he wasn't working and they had already destroyed her.

So what did I learn from this experience? That a helpless kitten would be destroyed rather than allowing rehabilitation to take place?If there are any animal lovers out there that find this as appalling as I do, please make some noise to the chief of police. Yes, it was only a helpless little kitten ... but a life taken needlessly is still just that ... a life taken needlessly.

Kathryn Anne Lavelle

Bemidji

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