EUREKA, Ill. (WMBD) — People are calling for action after they said their cat was wrongfully taken by Woodford County’s Animal Control.
This call for action started with a cat named KiKi. She was known as the salon therapy cat and impacted the lives of the clients who frequented Razor Zone Salon in Eureka.
“We had just totally committed our lives to her. And she was happy. She was living here 24/7 the best of her life. She changed our lives,” said Shannon Shreffler, Owner of Razor Zone Salon.
KiKi was with the salon less than two months before tragedy struck.
“She had a window hammock, she would greet people, she still didn’t want to go by the door. Five and half weeks later after she found us again she did not want to go outside. She did not. She was living the golden life here and then it was taken away,” said Shreffler.
According to a Eureka Police Department report, on March 23 Woodford County Animal Control Administrator Tim Abney seized KiKi because a salon client was reportedly bitten and scratched by the cat two days prior.
The Illinois Animal Control Act states:
(510 ILCS 5/13)(from Ch. 8, par. 363)
Sec. 13. Dog or other animal bites; observation of animal.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this Section, when the Administrator or, if the Administrator is not a veterinarian, the Deputy Administrator receives information that any person has been bitten by an animal, the Administrator or, if the Administrator is not a veterinarian, the Deputy Administrator, or his or her authorized representative, shall have such dog or other animal confined under the observation of a licensed veterinarian. The confinement shall be for a period of not less than 10 days from the date the bite occurred and shall continue until the animal has been examined and released from confinement by a licensed veterinarian. The Administrator or, if the Administrator is not a veterinarian, the Deputy Administrator may permit such confinement to be reduced to a period of less than 10 days.
But the law was not followed according to Cats of Woodford County Rescue founder Eryn Pearson.
“KiKi was taken here in front of clients, during business hours with zero due process and she was euthanized immediately, essentially the decapitated and sent her head to a lab to be tested for rabies,” said Pearson.
According to Pearson, the rabies test came back negative and there’s no record of a cat bite being reported to Woodford County Animal Control. Shreffler said KiKi was scheduled to be fully vaccinated and spayed. She already had one appointment on March 12 with a second scheduled for April 17.
“Animals are part of our heart and soul. I just want to bring awareness to our animal rights,” said Shreffler.
Both women are now working together to encourage people to know their animal rights. They also want to improve Woodford County’s Animal Control Program so this situation doesn’t happen again.
“We’re not looking to chastise people. We want to work together to make it better. And we want the opportunity for open minds to work with us to make this better so we can improve the future of our pets but our relationship with them as well,” said Pearson.
A “Justice for KiKi” group will be present at the next Woodford County Board meeting on April 18 at 6:30 pm. According to the Eureka Police report the case was forwarded to the Woodford County State’s Attorney Office for further review of possible charges. State’s Attorney Greg Minger said the investigation is ongoing and the office cannot make a comment at this time.
As of Wednesday, Woodford County Animal Control Administrator Tim Abney still has his job. WMBD has called, sent texts and left messages for Abney since April 6 trying to get more information. Abney has either hung up on WMBD staff or his office has given staff the run-around.