Animal advocates want Wake Co. Animal Shelter director's resigna

Animal advocates want Wake Co. Animal Shelter director's resignation

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Ever since Wake County Animal Services responded to an anonymous tip exposing a Raleigh woman who was hoarding 90 cats in her home, 60 cats were euthanized and that caused outrage amongst animal rights advocates.

Now, those advocates are demanding the director of Animal Services resign.  

Jennifer Federico, the director of the Wake County Animal Center, said she could not comment on the resignation calls specifically because it's a personnel matter.

"What the public is failing to understand is that these cats were suffering," Federico said.

She said 60 of the 90 cats found had to be euthanized because they had infectious diseases. Each one of the cats were inspected on site and Federico said they were later taken to the center for further evaluation.

"A lot of them were suffering from upper respiratory disease. Afterwards, we found out that several had ring worms, nails grown into their feet, some were emaciated and covered in feces, and dehydrated," Federico said.

Shannon Lack, an independent animal rescue volunteer, said many of the conditions Federico listed are easily treatable. She created the online petition calling for Federico's resignation.

It received hundreds of signatures within 24 hours.

"If you do a proper quarantine for ringworm and URI, you can turn it around quickly," said Lack.

Trixie Perry, an independent animal rescue volunteer, said of the 60 cats, "They didn't have to die." Perry believed animal services didn't pursue every option before euthanization.

"My concern is the large number of animals that possibly had other shelters or other forms or resources," said Perry.

But Federico said the outrage is pointed at the wrong direction.

"What we need the public to be outraged about, is how this rescue group treated these animals and neglected to follow up on where they were being homed," Federico said.

She's referring to Calvin's Paws. The president of the rescue group was at the center of the cat hoarding investigation.

WNCN spoke to Lynn Barclay, a board member of the group, and she said the president has the group's full support, and was reluctant to call the incident a "hoarding situation."

Barclay said, "I did not personally know she had that many animals. This was really more of an issue of her trying to protect and save more and more animals."

This case is still under investigation by the Raleigh Police Department.

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Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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