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An Abuse of Euthanasia – Shelter Euthanizes Bella the Cat – Despite Rescue in Progress

Unnecessary Euthanasia of Bella –
A Beautiful Life – Needlessly Snuffed Out –


THIS case really smells. An abuse of the euthanasia solution’ on hand.

Euthanasia is a fancy way of putting it.  Let’s call it what it is…Killing.  Death.   And when abused as it was in this incident – MURDER.


A rescue was on the way… yet two year old Bella was killed at the Castaic Animal Care Center in Los Angeles County  – ‘they just couldn’t wait.  They needed the space.’  They killed –despite pleas from a vet and volunteers (with a rescuer on the way) —  a ‘sick cat  – ‘for public safety.’

So they said.


 I’m outraged about this…based on the facts given here.

Read this and weep….(from the – Los Angeles)

Bella the cat had one life – and could’ve had a second when Adrienne Hagen offered to rescue her from a scheduled death Saturday at the Castaic animal shelter. …read more
Read more here: Cat Care 

 This is little Bella.  She looks wary and fearful….

Bella - killed despite rescue in progress

(from the – Los Angeles)




Sounds like a short fuse on an abusive shelter employee to me… trying to ‘show’ those rescuers who’s ‘boss’…and not wanting to inconvenience himself to take some extra time to help a frightened, defenseless cat…just ripped from its home…thrust into a strange new environment, where every survivalist instinct must have been hitting on all cylinders….


Scared out of her wits and Scared for her LIFE


Bella was confused, scared, and surrounded by strange people, other animals, foreign smells and sounds and unusual commotion…and she bit someone.

And then ‘lashed out ‘ at others..

Well duh….

If someone was coming at me I didn’t know…and scared literally out of my wits – with perceived life-threats —  along with not feeling well physically, I would likely bite  — or scratch wildly too if it’s the only defense I had.

It happens all the time in rescues.  Not with every cat…but with enough that anyone doing rescues knows to expect it.  Or they soon learn.  People aren’t all that different when they are ‘rescued’ from various situations, especially life threatening ones.  Or something they perceive as such. They often lash out at others as well…to the shock of those uninitiated helpers.

I wonder if they weren’t yelling at her or talking too loudly …or being insensitive towards her conditions in their ‘rescue’ efforts or duties?…

And she had developed a respiratory problem..AND went into heat.?…..all the more difficult for her!

But any scared being will try to defend itself…no matter what..if it doesn’t understand why it’s in a situation…and is surrounded by  frightening sounds, smells, strange people and other animals.  And no semblance of anyone they know or trusted are there to help them.  Feelings of abandonment are excruciating and bewildering.


I am tearing up…not only with sorrow for this wasted life…but also with anger over this senseless injustice and needless ‘murder’.


This is just tragic.

And SOMEONE needs to answer for this.

Someone needs to get some direct answers from the person(s) who made this decision.

Should Someone(s)  be relieved of a job….?  And replaced with those who truly consider lives precious and not expendable commodities…?

Someone(s) has dropped the ball on the ultimate ‘call’ of their job… RESCUE.  No matter what their ‘other numbers’ might be for successful adoptions.

It just sounds like it was all decided ‘waaaay’ too easily.   With very  little compassion for the fears and multiple setbacks that this little kitty..and others like her .. (and dogs as well…).experience when thrust into a confined, foreign ‘shelter’ with feelings of abandonment/hopelessness and utter chaos overtaking their lives. The lives they knew…and don’t understand what they did that things changed so…

So…. there is an ‘odor’ to this insensitive dismissal of a life …..might there even be a ‘history’ of this?..

Other unnecessary killings  of yet  unclaimed lives no one else knows about?….

Is there a pattern of such ‘pettiness’ and need to ‘be in charge or ‘right’…

….a thin-skinned intolerance or inability to understand and deal with the machinations of missed deadlines by beleagured rescue organizations or any individual.   Inability to manuever ‘inconveniences’ to one’s ‘normal workday routine’….

Perhaps an  inability to think a bit out of the box or to put one’s own comfort aside for the welfare of those helpless animals they are charged to serve?

What about a possible insensitivity – a ‘power complex’  attitude of control over innocent lives – with no voice or choice …that one can choose to do with as they please depending on their whim?  You live today… Next day…hey…let’s put ’em under.  Is there any regulation being followed?

Dunno.  But must say…these thoughts came up from the overall bureaucratic ‘aroma’ that seemed to waft as I read….


An interview of rescuers and ‘safe’ interviews of employees seems in order.  They don’t want to lose jobs…so they must be able to answer truthfully without repercussions.


Animal Welfare MEANS that… Do what is right for THEIR Welfare

Anyone who works in a shelter situation certainly must understand that formerly sweet, docile and gentle animals can turn to raging freakouts.  They are literally scared out of their wits..and scared for their lives.  (It does NOT make them unadoptable necessarily. With time things can calm down and often do).

Unfortunately, Bella lost hers.  For no apparent good reason.

Just the whim of a man -and/or other officials –  who seemed P.O.’ed at the rescuers. 

How responsible. How mature. How professional.

And anyone who works in rescue should have the maturity and chops to be able to handle delays and mix ups of volunteers.  And perceived inconveniences that come one’s way to upset one’s comfortable routines…

It doesn’t sound like the case here.


Thing is…in work such as this…there  should be no expectation of ‘comfortable routines’.

You must be able to roll with the punches and be creative and dedicated to find the perfect solution.

It is inherent in such work that one is pledged to go above and beyond duty to alleviate the distress of their charges…not vice verse.

Death is not the ‘perfect’ solution.  This work is not something that everyone can do.  There are many who just should not take it on – it’s just not right for them.  It takes patience, diligence, deep compassion, integrity, self-sacrifice and lots of hard work and dealing with messes made by others..both people and animals… and frustrations……. for beginners.


All of these comments and observations are based on the story as detailed. And perhaps there are other details lacking.

But I can’t think of any extenuating circumstances that would merit this hasty decision for death.

A rescue was underway, along with pleas from the volunteers AND a veterinarian to delay the execution.

And….despite the ‘annoying’ previous delays by the rescue volunteers and a possible snub that they would yet again not ‘keep their deadline…there just is no reason to believe  that a small space…some sort of accommodation …could NOT be made for this frightened little feline life.

The rescue was in process.  They could confirm it by phone as the person was driving in if needed.  Anyone competently involved in a shelter Knows how difficult it can be for overtaxed rescue groups and individuals to coordinate a pick up or meet certain time conditions.


While I can understand the frustration of unanswered timelines on the part of the shelter, IF it is true that rescuers failed to meet promised ‘deadlines’…. just HOW much space does a little cat take up?!


Could Bella not have been put in a small crate and left in an office temporarily…or  a hallway…or how about a bathroom, or open closet.. until her rescuers could arrive?  Just WHAT was the rush in putting her to death.  Why so needle happy?

If caring people are working at that shelter, could Bella not have been taken home by one of the workers..or how about the shelter director?

If the rescuers were having problems getting there…could the staff not have taken turns with Bella in taking her home?  Or could they not have stepped a bit out of the box and met the rescuer part way with Bella on their way home?

Could someone not have waited some extra minutes…or even hours to save a life.  Isn’t THAT what they are THERE for?


And the urgency to put this little kitty girl to death…even if there were no rescue on hand…something still doesn’t smell right.


She had just been released from quarantine..and was due to die the next day already?  Without a chance of any kind?

This is NOT exemplary feline treatment…especially from a ‘Shelter’..a  Sanctuary from distress and death for needy lives.


While there are hundreds of lives to think of and things are busy, it doesn’t excuse those charged with the welfare of all to throw away lives like a used kleenex.

Nor to make a point for what look to be petty grievances against others, an impatience to deal with an upset, frantic cat they felt no particular bond for or any of the other flimsy excuses quoted in the article.


Many people were trying to help Bella…she had a promised home.  Yet she was STILL put to death.  Because a rescue volunteer (likely overburdened themselves) couldn’t get there 30 minutes earlier!




This bespeaks a sad state of affairs for our ‘rescued’ animals and the sad state of our ‘shelter system’ in the U.S.

‘Sheltered’ right into death….

And the quality of people  that may be hired to make decisions about life and death for innocent animals.

I shudder about the conditions elsewhere.


Cat and pet owners need to be aware, that surrendering your precious little life to a ‘shelter’ does NOT necessarily mean it will live on to find happiness in a new happy home. ( Obviously…EVEN when someone has come forth to offer it a new life of love.)

Due diligence with any shelter  is in order.  Questions must be asked and assurances must be sought before you give up your furry family member.  Only a confirmed ‘No Kill” Shelter will keep an animal until adopted.  And even then, if they are diseased or merely a carrier for feline leukemia for instance…you better double check…because some will not or cannot accommodate them. And may put them down.



This has been written on behalf of Bella – and others like her there and everywhere.  An effort to send out to others who may wish to know and express their concerns or protests on her behalf as well.

A painful questioning and hopeful effort that things can be righted in that facility and others to avoid any other such heartless decisions.


An effort of hope that Bella will not have died in vain..and that she and other lives like her won’t be forgotten or discounted as warehoused objects.

And that the proper officials will step forth and do their jobs properly and correct the weaknesses in their animal welfare department …and see to it that those responsible atone for this senseless killing of innocent Bella.  And put into practice steps that assure it won’t happen again to others.


If there is/was little concern …that this is ‘just a cat’…or a dog… or a ‘dumb animal’… how sad a person with such a soul.

How we treat the weakest among us speaks volumes about us as individuals and as a society

These attitudes have also been proven to extend forward to our children and elderly,  the voiceless,  the homeless and underprivileged among us.

If we don’t speak out for the few…how much harm to the many?  How quickly and easily do such attitudes take hold and proliferate?  And how certain are any of us that we won’t end up as one of those voiceless numbers?


How do YOU feel about this? Anyone plan on writing/calling this shelter about Bella?   Or better yet…county authorities?

Or sending a ‘Letter to the Editor’ of this Newspaper  above to voice your concerns?


Little Bella the cat had one life – now gone.  Why?  For what?   What did she do so wrong?

How does that man  – and anyone else there involved in this decision, who purport to be ‘rescuers’ …who are paid to help homeless animals find new lives…. just HOW are they able to fall asleep at night ……?

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8 Responses to “An Abuse of Euthanasia – Shelter Euthanizes Bella the Cat – Despite Rescue in Progress”

  • Barry P:

    I landed here too late to help little Bella, but it’s never too late to express my thanks for bringing this forward.

    I hope that others will be enlightened as I was by this about what is going on behind closed doors. W trust these facilities to do what is in the best interests of the animals that are in their care. It looks like far too many are doing what is most convenient for themselves. They make life and death decisions and it looks like they favor the latter. And when they do, they suffer nothing. Only the innocent animals do.

    This is really beyond disgusting and deeply heartbreaking to realize that all is not well in our ‘rescue’ system. Killing is not the answer. And I think you have pegged it absolutely on the nail. Murder. And I never thought about it before. But it sure is now etched into my thoughts and it rings so true.

    Thanks, TopCat. You really helped open my eyes! And they are filled with tears for the destiny this little lovely cat was dealt and certainly did not deserve for ANY reason!

    • Barry, Thank you for taking time to speak your heart!

      I fear that far too many employees of these facilities are never trained properly from the start, and then get more lax as time goes on. More hardened to the fate of the little lives that depend on the moods and whims of those less-than- competent employees.

      Yes, killing is the easy way out for these ‘shelter’ folks far too frequently. Space and money are concerns, since overpopulation is a big problem due to irresponsible pet owners and then made worse with kitten and puppy mills that abuse animals and churn out new lives for their own financial gain. But with the right set of ethics and the right people working on behalf of these little lost animals, there is much that can be done. And the “Solution” should NOT be killing them.

      If they did to us what they did to Bella, they’d be up on charges. What makes it less a crime when it is an innocent animal, with no key to their fate, is put to death because no one cared enough – and at a minimum – not even enough to do their job right.

      The no kill groups, who struggle to accommodate all they can, are the true heart of our ‘rescue’ system, and I hope more and more concerned individuals will put pressure on these ‘sham’ rescue operations and support those who really put in the grit to do what is right.

      Passing spay/neuter laws and cracking down on these pet mills that force births of new lives at the expense of the poor mothers and the newborns would go far, along with spay/neuter/release programs that have proven very effective. If everyone would extend a bit of themselves to help a needy animal and help spread information about what is happening and enlighten about solutions, we could become a true no-kill nation.

      Little Bella, and all like her, deserve far better than what they are being dealt behind closed doors. It shakes my soul.

      Thank you for voicing your heart and concern, Barry, and I hope you will pass along what you have discovered to others. Through education and enlightenment, we can shine a light on these dark, dastardly situations and together find solutions for needy animals who cannot choose their fate and have no rights or voice.

  • Amanda O.:

    This is very beneficial. It is alarming to realize what can go on behind those ‘closed doors’ of ‘shelters’ that brag about their adoption rate no less!

    Thank you for posting this and for your insightful comments. I agree wholeheartedly and hope that local groups and others like us out here can put on the pressure to bring justice to little Bella and others like her and relieve these heartless hypocrites of their duties. They are hiding behind their ‘badges’ as caring shelter rescuers. This makes me shudder to think of how much more of this is going on.

    Rest in peace little Bella. May we join together to take steps in our communities, too, that her undeserved death not be in vain!

    • Hello Amanda,

      Your comments do little Bella, and others who’ve suffered similar fates, proud.

      Thank you for expressing what so many of us feel and know to be a horrible injustice that far too many little lost animals of all kinds suffer.

      As I mentioned in the article, it is outrageous enough to see this type of gutless, mindless disposal and treatment of an innocent cat take place. And it alone is reason for significant outrage and swift justice to the perpetrators and those who silently stood by when they shouldn’t have.

      Hopefully others are becoming aware of the wide-spread occurrence of this despicable behavior and attitude. And how it also points to the close connection with how members of our own kind are often treated by animal abusers and those with less than humane attitudes toward other species, who also have rights on this Earth, but are greedily and heartlessly denied them.

      I Thank You for your concern and continued interest in helping to bring about humane treatment to these little abandoned lives and towards improving the lot of all who cannot stand up for themselves.

      Keep it going, Dear Heart!


  • Meranda:

    Wow! Bravo for bringing this to our attention. I think there is a VERY good possibility that your suspicions of additional ‘history’ of this e-z- P-Z ‘death squad’ is right on target.

    I weep for this little feline who was given no chance, and it underscores that we need to be aware of how much more of this is going on out there!

    Thanks for posting this. I, too, am just outraged. And I’ll be contacting that group….

    • Hello Meranda,

      Thank you for your comments and your big heart for Bella and all like her. And for the fact that you are taking steps to air your concerns to those who can bring to task those responsible!

      I hope we all can take a lesson from this and watch what is happening in our own communities as well and expose what may not be right – and work to make things what they should be for all homeless cats and other species. Certain of our species have made this a brutal world for the voiceless of all kinds.


  • Don L.:

    This really sickens me. You think that you’re taking the right steps to give little rescues a 2nd chance and THIS is what we find. Your note on ‘no-kill’ is excellent, as are your instincts and spot-on expression of what played out here, and likely has BEFORE!

    We all need to be extremely alert about what is going on in these ‘shelters’ and act accordingly. I, for one, WILL be expressing my vehement disgust for the ‘people’ in charge here, who hold these helpless lives in their hands and seem to make decisions based on whim and personal attitude of the moment.

    This is NOT proper care for any shelter, kill or no kill. We need to work on getting No Kill facilities to be the norm! Expensive, yes, but rather than waging senseless wars and killing our soldiers and squandering funds, or subsidizing major corporations with our tax dollars, we should be directing resources to putting programs into place that underscore the ‘enlightened’ society we claim to be!

    Thank you, TopCat, for bringing this forward!

    • Wow, Don!

      Couldn’t have said it better.

      Thank you for your heartfelt interest and comments.

      We do need as a society to provide for these abandoned animals. Humans are to blame. For too many, killing is the ONLY answer. Playing God for one’s own convenience, rather than stepping up to responsibility and doing what is right. Too easy to leave it to others. And the ‘easy’ way out. Death.

      Thanks for being a responsible specimen of our own ‘kind’. May there be many millions more everywhere who stand up for those who can’t.

      Bless you.


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