KEYC - Brown County Humane Society Under Fire After Euthanizing Kitten

Brown County Humane Society Under Fire After Euthanizing Kitten

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New Ulm, MN -

Six–month–old Elvis wandered off last week while his family was on vacation.

A Good Samaritan found the kitten and took him to the Brown County Humane Society on Thursday, a no-kill shelter.

The individual wrote that the cat was friendly and the volunteer who took him in agreed that he seemed like somebody's pet.

However, within 24 hours, BCHS decided to euthanize him and when the owners found out on Monday where their cat ended up, the organization denied any knowledge of his presence.

Owner Ryan Lohman said, "I went down there, they let me in and I looked around. I showed them a picture of the kitten, six–month–old kitten. 'Have you seen this kitten?' They denied it, just denied it. Denied me all the way out the door. Have not seen it, have not seen it."

In a post on Facebook, BCHS says that Elvis bit a volunteer during the quarantine process, a normal procedure when an animal comes in.

They added that no tags were on the kitten when he was brought in and staff knew nothing about his history.

They say the decision to euthanize was made because the organization wanted to protect their volunteer from rabies and the only way to test Elvis for the disease was to put him down.

But the family has been told by former volunteers that a five–day quarantine period is required when there is a cat bite incident.

Ryan's mother Jean Geistfeld said, "We're not out to hurt anyone. We just want policies and procedures to put in place so that this doesn't happen again. We want people to follow the policies and procedures is all we're asking for."

The Lohman's adopted Elvis four months ago as a Christmas gift for the kids from the humane society.

The family says the received all his vaccinations.

Since the news, they haven't touched any of their former kitten's things as the unfortunate occurrence is still fresh in their minds.

Ryan's son Evan Lohman said, "I felt really sad because he was a perfect cat. He didn't harm anyone here."

The Lohman's say that they will not pursue any legal action.

Multiple reports of occurrences like these have been brought up by the public in the last week.

BCHS declined our interview request as New Ulm Police are investigating the incident.

Elvis' ashes will be returned to the family.

- KEYC 12