This is Siren. She was one of two cats inside the crate seen in a surveillance picture released by Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary.
A man and woman in the pictures can be seen abandoning both outside the rescue Thursday night. Due to storms, the kennel they were in filled with water and Siren’s companion was found dead inside by staff Friday morning.
“[It was] devastating to my staff,” said Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary executive director Stephanie Lauer. “It was the first phone call I received this morning as I was getting ready. It was “Could I look at the cameras please to find out who could’ve done such a horrible thing?'”
Lauer says dropping off animals after hours should never be done. But adds in the past, others have left animals under their front awning to protect from weather.
“We don’t advocate dumping animals because it is illegal,” explained Lauer. “If you’re in that big of a situation, call us. Wait until the morning and call us.”
Lauer says if surrendering your pet is your final option there is a right way to do it. During operating hours: Bring a photo ID, any important records on the animals, a signature from the rightful owner and a $5 fee.
“We even waive that [fee] 90% of the time,” said Lauer. “We understand that usually you’re under a situation that’s only for an owner’s surrender.”
Lauer says some may dump their animals due to embarrassment.
“People don’t want to be perceived as bad people for giving up an animal. Know that we don’t think that, we understand that everybody goes through life circumstances that change.”
Noah’s Ark currently has over one hundred cats. Lauer says half are strays and the other half are drop-offs. She adds their rescue has had up to 150 cats depending on the time of year.
“Usually first thing in the spring because we have the first wave of the kitten season. It’s huge. Then about this time of the year we have another wave of kitten season but we also have the change in weather.”
Noah’s Ark says the people in the pictures have been identified and this isn’t the first time the couple has dumped cats after hours. No word yet if any charges will be issued.
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary has released surveillance photos of two people who left a kennel full of two cats outside their 1st Street animal shelter Thursday night, leading to one of the cats dying.
In a Facebook post, Noah’s Ark officials say it appears the deceased cat was alive when the suspects dropped the kennel off. The other cat did survive. Due to the rain, when employees discovered the kennel sometime Friday morning, there was standing water inside of it.
Noah’s Ark has since said the two people seen in the photos have been identified, and that the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.