A no-kill animal shelter in Jackson killed 120 cats Sunday afternoon, according to former employees who were fired Saturday after learning the news of the director’s plan to euthanize every cat resident at the facility.
According to a director at the shelter, Community Animal Rescue and Adoption, some of the cats tested positive for a respiratory virus called Calicivirus.
One of the six C.A.R.A caregivers who were let go, Kelli Ware, spoke out, saying staff was “unable to test all of the cats and I know that the few that were tested, some of them came back negative [for the virus].”
“I understand it’s terrible virus and it spreads,” she added. “I just wish I knew for a fact that all options had been exhausted before they all got put down.”
A local veterinarian says that Calicivirus is treatable and it is preventable with vaccination, which has many asking further question about the facility’s practices and why did operators not vaccinate the cats.
WJTV 12’S Tara Thomas reached out to the director, but phone calls were not returned, so she tried to speak with staff in person at the shelter Sunday, prior to the mass euthanization, but she was met with shades being drawn and a door being locked as she arrived arrived.
Ware says she now fears retaliation from C.A.R.A. operators and remaining staff, for speaking out.
“I know I’m gonna get retaliation for this, but I feel like my job is to speak for those the ones who don’t have a voice,” Ware said, tearfully.
“There were a lot [of cats] who couldn’t say, ‘Hey, I’m fine… I’m not sick.’”
“… I’m not trying to ruin their business, because that’s going to affect the animals that are still there. If anything, I want to encourage the opposite; please adopt and donate, because they [the animals] need it more than you know.”