Anderson County P.A.W.S kills almost every cat in 2 rooms, including one vaccinated with a rescue willing to save her

Original shelter email August 2014, Greenville, SC

Update September 13, 2016. Click here for statements from the county and the shelter

Update September 12, 2016. Located the original email from Greenville County Animal Care from August 2014 listing this kitty as “Gloria.” Shelter safe album link can be found here

This is one of the worst tragedies to come out of Anderson County P.A.W.S (short for Pets Are Worth Saving-apparently NOT) in several years. Please excuse the length of this article, but it’s complicated and ended with two rooms of cats being killed on September 9.

Take a look at the cat above. She was vaccinated and eating and was killed for no reason sometime Friday. She was quite simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, placed in a room where cats had been exposed to panleuk.

Facebook: Anderson County P.A.W.S. posted September 2

“Anderson County, S.C. – PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) will be closed starting on Friday, September 2nd. The closure is for a medical quarantine and will be in effect until Friday, September 9th at 12 noon.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have implemented a temporary closure of our facility,” said PAWS Director Jessica Cwynar. “Animals brought to us are positive for parvovirus. The normal incubation time for these viruses is generally less than 14 days. At this time, staff is evaluating and placing in quarantine those animals who may have been exposed to the animal that tested positive for parvovirus.”
The Standard Operating Procedures for Anderson County PAWS call for either the euthanasia or quarantine of all animals that may have been exposed to parvovirus. The PAWS management team has decided to impose a temporary closure in order to avoid the unnecessary mass euthanasia of the animals.”

So the situation called for no animals to be accepted as intake at the shelter. This is good. A lot of shelters continue to take in pets during an outbreak and try to cover up the outbreak. Now for the not so good, which the shelter isn’t responding to and apparently doesn’t want the news of the killing to come out.

There was likely either a panleuk outbreak or suspicion of a panleuk outbreak was imminent. Or else the shelter got it into their head parvo exposed animals could pass on to cats. What was the outcome for the parvo exposed dogs?

Regardless, this is what happened to the cats, as was posted on the Facebook wall of cat advocate Ash Truesdale (one of the most active supporters in saving the Anderson Feline Survivors who lived through the Julianne Westberry ordeal in June 2014)

“Anderson County PAWS killed all the cats in 2 rooms including a vaccinated cat who was on a 10 day hold that had been adopted out by Foster Paws 2 years ago. They cut her head off and sent it to be tested, even though she was ON HOLD and had been vaccinated 2 YEARS AGO…. as an adult… making it physically impossible for her to contract either Rabies or Panleuk. Titer testing proves that a rabies vax protects for MANY years and a 3 way/distemper protects for at least 3 years, when given to adults.

She was fine and eating when they killed her for no reason except she was unfortunately put in a room they decided to wipe out. 2 rooms of cats. Dead. Such an awesome “shelter”… killing any and every thing they can apparently…

And we were told that once animal control is involved, they will not release the animal, to anyone. So even if they had not killed her, the rescue could not have picked her up. Because she was picked up on a bite hold, she was going to die. The end.

People of Anderson, THIS is what your tax dollars are paying for. Killing healthy animals that have a place to go, because they can.

**** Please Note: Anderson County PAWS is NOT the same thing as Anderson County Humane Society! ACHS is a fantastic group working towards the betterment of all animals in Anderson and has nothing at all to do with this situation!”

Anderson County P.A.W.S wouldn’t listen to the pleas to allow the former Foster Paws kitty to be held for the full 10 days as required by South Carolina law. She’d been vaccinated and had a rescue ready to save her life. Instead, Director Michelle Powell made the executive decision to chop off her head and have her tested for rabies. This cat was killed because she was in the wrong room at the wrong time.

Tami Desmond is an expert on feline vaccines and left this review on the Anderson P.A.W.S. page

“The Association of Feline Practitioners decided several years ago, fvrcp vaccines are good for a minimum of 3 years. All indications are , this cat was not at risk. This cat was healthy. This cat was microchipped. This cat had a rescue willing to get her out. She was killed before the bite hold expired. Evidently,none of that mattered. To her, or any others unfortunate enough to land at PAWS. THE DIRECTOR, Michelle Powell, decided to do a “clean kil” ..rather than implementing effective cleaning protocols , rather than vaccinating on intake , rather than training staff, or saving lives, kill them all. The ONLY reason the cats of AFS made it out of there , a couple years ago, is because of the massive public outcry. It’s time to do it again.”

Unfortunately, animal shelters do have the right to kill, but why kill so many cats unless absolutely without a doubt out of other options. Because it’s easier? Why was this cat killed? You knew her history. You knew she had a rescue waiting to save her at the end of 10 days. How can you sleep at night after what you’ve done?

Shame on you all! You really should take the P.A.W.S. out of your name, since it no longer applies to the cats in your facility.

Do you think the shelter killed because it was the easiest thing for them to do? We all know the real problem stems from people who won’t spay and neuter or vaccinate their pets, but this is very disturbing.

Can anyone add information as to what was going on before the mass kill? And what was their excuse for killing a cat who couldn’t be infected because she’d already received all of her vaccinations.  Sound off in the comments.

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  1. PAWS murdered my dog that I adopted who also had a back up rescue! They killed him without my consent or knowledge the day I was set to pick him up. I’ve called the news and I’m meeting with the county administrator this week. This has to END! I’m coming for you Anderson County.

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