Watch: Former cat owner does not blame Town of Innisfail

New animal bylaws on the way

The owner of the Innisfail cat that was wrongly euthanized says he does not blame the Town of Innisfail. (Contributed)

The owner of the Innisfail cat that was wrongly euthanized wants people to know he does not blame the Town of Innisfail, but rather the bylaw officer.

“We don’t hate the town we live in. Those aren’t our issues at all. Our issues is our cat was harmed by someone who stepped over the bounds of her job title and caused us harm,” said Mike Piesse whose family’s cat Mikey was picked up by a town bylaw officer three weeks ago.

Mikey escaped from their home on Friday June 8 and was euthanized on Monday June 11.

The unlicensed pet was captured, but the bylaw officer didn’t follow the municipality’s bylaws, and Mikey was put down by a veterinarian.

The town has already accepted responsibility for Mikey’s untimely death.

The report submitted by the bylaw officer, who has since resigned, said the cat was ill and did not have microchip identification, but the town says the report was inaccurate — Mikey was healthy and microchipped.

Unlicensed and unchipped animals that are picked up are usually posted on the town’s website, but Mikey was not.

Piesse said the town has rules that should have kept their cat alive.

The town’s animal control bylaw says animals that are not claimed in three days, not including Sunday or statutory holidays, may be re-adopted, transferred to the humane society for re-adoption or destroyed if necessary.

He said some say the 72-hour rule was not properly followed.

“My contention is a day doesn’t make a difference. Certainly nobody would put a healthy house cat down at the strike of the 72nd hour. Nobody does that. Nobody has ever put a cat down in Innisfail.”

He said six weeks prior to Mikey’s death the bylaw officer dropped by to talk and the family was working hard to make Mikey an indoor cat, but sometimes he still escaped.

Piesse said he has met with town officials and they have assured him they are moving forward to make its bylaws clearer.

“They’re going to have a complete, new bylaw package and it’s going to state a little clearer on what needs to be done. But I certainly don’t think it was the town’s bylaw package that caused my cat to be put down.”

— with files from THE CANADIAN PRESS

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