ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A local woman is heartbroken after Orange County Animal Services euthanized her lost cat.
Lisa Storey wants to know why they didn't wait longer and if it should have even happened at all.
The family said they went to OCAS with pictures of their lost Persian cat "Sophie," but left empty-handed three times. They said the last time they went, they were told OCAS had euthanized their cat long before.
"I have closure, but I don't have closure. And I don't even have a cat with me, I don't have her body to put her to rest. It's just horrible," Storey said.
After Sophie vanished Feb. 17, a neighbor found her without a collar, took her in and fed her for two days before taking her to OCAS on February 20.
Storey learned the neighbor had recovered her cat, so the very next day she went to OCAS to get her cat, but workers could not find Sophie. Storey said on March 3, she learned Sophie had already been euthanized after just one day in OCAS care.
"It's horrible, it's not fair," said Storey. "Follow the rules that you have that's mandated for three days stay."
Under county rules, OCAS is required to hold every animal for three days unless a staff veterinarian determines the animal is suffering or too sick to survive.
OCAS released a statement and said their staff vet thought Sophie was "lethargic and extremely emaciated. Due to her poor health, the veterinarian made the determination to humanely euthanize her."
However, Storey said her cat only looked thin because of a medical condition, but it was otherwise healthy. In fact, she said her private vet had just given the 13-year-old cat a clean bill of health.
"She looked emaciated because she's very thin because of her thyroid issues," said Storey, who thinks OCAS euthanized her pet too soon. "It's just heart wrenching. It should not be. It should not happen to any family or anybody. It's just not fair."
Even Storey admits her cat could appear ill, simply by a cursory look at it, but she thinks more evaluations need to happen before animals get euthanized, and she hopes animal services sticks to their policy and waits three days before euthanizing.
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