A word about the 225 seized cats from a non-profit shelter in Milton...
It is simple for the general public to form quick opinions about the people running the shelter, about the sheriff's office who initiated a warrant to seize the cats, and about animal control officers who euthanized 86 cats in less than 12 hours. We can judge and we can hate; we can post negative comments on Facebook; and we can offer our own solutions from afar.
But not a single one of us had the responsibility to handle this crisis. None of us saw what officials are reporting as filthy conditions, very sick animals, and indescribable suffering. One or two animals have died at the shelter, on their own since arriving.
We have the sheriff's report in hand with many details that explain a lot about this case.
We spoke with the interim director at Santa Rosa County Animal Services today about how his department is handling an influx of over 200 cats, with the task of putting down almost half of them. He told us his employees all deal with their job in different ways, but it does take a toll on them. And he said he knows he'll be the bad guy for saying this, "As sick as they are, they really are in a better place. You don't want them lying here suffering."
To help the public better understand the gravity of this case, we are going to put the entire Santa Rosa Sheriff's report on our website so you can see for yourself: www.srpressgazette.com. You will find the story on the front page, in the rotator. We would like to hear back from you after you read it. Please post your comments on our website and we may use some in our print version of the newspaper.