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Killing of disabled cat at area shelter sparks outrage; inquiry demanded

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California Hayden Law violated, according to rescuers.

Comments were coming fast and furious Friday after it was disclosed on Facebook that “Wiggly,” a nine year old male cat with manageable disabilities was euthanized, after being returned to an area shelter by a family which had adopted him back in September.

The story began last year when Wiggly was surrendered to Animal Friends of the Valleys Shelter, located in Wildomar, California, not far from San Diego. Wiggly's original owners had surrendered him because they had lost their home. Wiggly had deformed hind legs, and couldn’t move normally, having to slide across surfaces using his front paws. He was also missing tear ducts, and had to receive special care for these disabilities.

In September, arrangements had been made with the rescue organization known as Milo's Sanctuary in the greater Los Angeles area to take custody of Wiggly. Milo's specializes in the care and treatment of disabled and special needs animals such as Wiggly to assist in finding suitable homes for them.

There were major problems back in September when for unknown and unclear reasons, Friends of the Valleys suddenly reneged on its commitment to Milo's and adopted Wiggly out to the general public—which triggered heightened concern from many in the rescue community.

There were serious concerns about the adoptive family being fully aware of and being able to care for Wiggly's disabilities. Friends of the Valleys was contacted at that time and assurance was given that Wiggly had been adopted into a 'loving and caring home.'

Reports state that Wiggly had been returned to Friends of the Valleys on Monday, April 7 for “litterbox issues” by those who had adopted him. Then, without notice, Wiggly was euthanized, on Wednesday, April 9.

California's Hayden Law states that animals are to be held for no less that 72 hours, regardless of circumstances, and in Wiggly's case, this law appears to have been violated. A campaign has been started on Facebook to inform elected public officials at local and possibly state levels of this violation.

When contacted regarding Wiggly, Friends of the Valleys is said to be blocking and deleting inquiries; so far responses from city officials in Wildomar for the most part appear to suggest a moderate disinterest, and lack of depth or concern.

There is a movement underway to engage the legal process in regards to the manner in which Friends of the Valleys handled Wiggly's situation. Comments on Facebook, numbering in the hundreds suggest among other things, the establishment of a fund to pay for legal expenses to ensure that Friends of the Valleys is held accountable, and that a similar situation can never occur again.

Milo's Sanctuary and others associated with Wiggly's circumstance are emphasizing the importance of contacting the following municipal officials to complain and further demand answers regarding this matter:

Marsha Swanson
Mayor
Contact Information
Office Phone: 951-677-7751
Fax: 951-698-1463
Email: mswanson@cityofwildomar.org

Ben Benoit
Mayor Pro Tem
Contact Information
Phone: 951-677-7751
Cell: 951-226-5030
Fax: 951-698-1463
Email: bbenoit@cityofwildomar.org

Bob Cashman
Council Member
Contact Information
Phone: 951-514-0822
Email: bcashman@cityofwildomar.org

Bridgette Moore
Council Member
Contact Information
Cell Phone: 951-219-0951
Office Phone: 951-677-7751
Fax: 951-698-1463
Email: bmoore@cityofwildomar.org

Timothy Walker
Council Member
Contact Information
Phone: 951-677-7751
Fax: 951-698-1463
Email: twalker@cityofwildomar.org

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