LEHI, Utah (ABC 4 News) – A Lehi woman is learning the hard way that animal control isn't always the best place to call to take care of stray animals. She tried to help out a bunch of stray cats in her neighborhood, and the first one she sent to the shelter- ended up dead.
"I put that cat in that situation not knowing that is what they were going to do," said Scarlett Clegg, Lehi resident.
Scarlett Clegg thought she was doing the right thing. She has a dozen stray cats in her neighborhood. And thought calling animal control could help.
"They said we take it to the Lindon animal shelter and they will see if it’s micro-chipped and see if we can place it up for adoption," said Clegg.
So she caught one, and let control pick it up. But when Clegg's sister called the shelter to check on the cat. The shelter said they planned to kill it.
"They get a bunch of cats into a room and they gas them," Clegg said.
Clegg couldn't believe it.
"If I would've known they were going to put the cat down, and the way that they did it, I would've never taken it to animal control," she said.
John Fox with the Humane Society of Utah said cat policies differ depending where you live, but he said any shelter in the state, including the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter in Lindon, can legally euthanize a stray cat in its custody.
“Once they sign it over, they lose control over what happens to the animal,” said John Fox, Chief Investigator, Humane Society of Utah.
Clegg said she's lucky she find out now, before she rounded up the rest of her neighborhood strays.
"Whether it's a stray cat or not, I don't think any animal should die that way," said Clegg.
Since Clegg started looking into this situation she found a way to save her neighborhood cats, and at the same time not let them overrun the neighborhood.
Clegg said she found a place that will spay and neuter the stray cats for free. It’s called the Best Friends Animal Society Spay and Neuter Clinic located at 845 N. 100 W. #107 in Orem. You can contact the clinic 801-404-5999.
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