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‘Bella the cat’ case continues

County says it will review shelter’s decision to euthanize the feline

Posted: March 24, 2013 10:23 p.m.
Updated: March 24, 2013 10:38 a.m.

Bella the cat. Some say the cat was wrongly euthanized at Castaic Animal Shelter last month.

Los Angeles County officials are continuing to investigate the death of a cat some say was wrongly euthanized at the Castaic Animal Shelter in February.

According to the Department of Auditor-Controller Office of County Investigations, the case has been approved for additional review.

At least four people called for a county investigation into the death of a cat named Bella, who was euthanized Feb. 23 after spending two weeks at the Castaic shelter.

Generally when the county receives complaints of this type, the matter is examined to see if there are grounds for further investigation.

At that point, the case is either closed or referred to a department for investigation. In Bella’s case, the matter has been referred for additional study.

That means the case will be assigned to an investigator who will issue a report on his or her findings.

Evelina Villa, a spokeswoman with the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, told The Signal in February that Bella was euthanized after animal rescue groups failed to meet deadlines to adopt the animal.

Villa said the cat was designated “rescue-only,” meaning only recognized animal-rescue organizations could adopt it from the shelter, because it bit someone who was working at the shelter and later attacked a second person.

A rescue organization contacted the shelter about adopting Bella, but its members never followed through by arriving at the shelter to collect the animal, Villa said.

But Adrienne Hagen, a rescue volunteer with the organization Helping Persian Cats, told The Signal she was on her way to pick up the cat when it was euthanized, despite her call to the shelter to hold the cat for her.

Villa could not be reached for additional comment Friday.


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