The Town of Innisfail today released the following statement regarding an animal control matter that occurred between June 8 and 11:

On Monday, June 11, the Town’s Bylaw Enforcement department, believing to be in compliance with the Town’s Animal Control Bylaw, authorized the euthanization of an unlicensed cat. The cat had been picked up on Friday, June 8 following reports it had been roaming at large.

Following a complaint from the cat’s owner that the Town had acted against its bylaws in euthanizing the cat, an internal review was conducted to determine whether the appropriate Town bylaws, procedures and policies had been followed.

The preliminary findings of that review have revealed that:

(1) The cat was roaming at large and was neither licensed nor tagged (Animal Control Bylaw 2.1, 2.5, 3.1.a, 3.1.b);

(2) Although the cat was microchipped, the Town’s Animal Control Bylaw does not recognize such measures as being a formal means of identification;

(3) The bylaw enforcement officer who authorized the euthanization did so in violation of the Town’s Animal Control Bylaw: Although the bylaw dictates that euthanization may occur at or after the conclusion of a three-day period (as it did in this instance), Sundays are excluded from the computation of this period.

As a result of these preliminary findings, the Town accepts full responsibility for the bylaw officer’s misinterpretation of the Animal Control Bylaw, and, where it lies within its ability to do so, will take full and immediate action to address the matter. Further, a thorough and in-depth review of the Town’s Animal Control Bylaw will take place immediately, with amendments brought forth to reflect community and administrative needs.

The Town recognizes and regrets the distress caused to the owners of the cat as a result of this unfortunate situation, and will work to remediate the various issues that led to these events.

The Town also wishes to advise that the veterinarian who conducted the euthanization did so under the direction that was provided to him/her on site, and is in no way accountable for the outcome of the situation.

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