Shelter euthanizes man’s cat after failing to find animal’s microchip

A Berk’s County animal shelter has apologized to the owner of a pet cat after the animal was euthanized despite having a mircrochip to help identify him. Cody Lesher, of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania is trying to deal with his beloved cat, Diddy’s untimely death.

According to NbcNews, Lesher and his girlfriend had adopted Diddy who had escaped from home on Sunday. It so happened that Diddy had managed to run away in the past, but always came home. Lesher had a microchip which would give his name and address should the cat get lost. When a neighbor found Diddy and brought him to the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, it should have been a simple task to scan the back of Diddy’s neck to find the microchip.

Two staff members at the shelter stated they did not find a microchip after scanning him and as protocol demands, gave the cat his vaccinations and housed him in the cat section of the shelter. Executive director, Tom Hubric said they checked all the logs with lost cats as well as checking social media for clues  to Diddy’s identity and his owner. And then the story gets a bit more complicated when Hubric said the cat became aggressive, and because of the overcrowding of cats, insufficient staff and not able to find any other shelters to take the cat, it was decided to end Diddy’s life.

On Tuesday, Cody arrived at the shelter to look for his cat and was shocked to find out Diddy had been euthanized. The following explanation was given by Hubric about Diddy’s microchip:

“When the owner informed us that the cat was originally adopted by us and it was microchipped, we did a third scan of the cat and found that the chip had migrated high up on his neck, likely close to the base of his skull and the two previous scans did not identify the microchip.”

The shelter has agreed to change their policies and will now increase their holding periods for found pets, better educate the staff about scanning for microchips and hold a town meeting for citizens to voice their concerns. Of course, none of this will bring Diddy back, but perhaps the next life hanging on the brink of death because he/she is a stray, will be reunited with the family.

Rest in peace Diddy.

(Photo of cat Diddy courtesy of Cody Lester)

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14 replies
  1. Barkley's Mom says:

    I have to wonder if the incompetent people at this shelter checked for a micro chip at all! Really? You think they need to “change their policies, increase their holding periods for found pets, and better educate the staff about scanning for microchips” a little too late for Cody Lesher and Diddy isn’t it? All of us buy into the micro chip saving our pet’s life and then we see this! Total ineptness by the staff of this shelter!

    Reply
  2. Stephen Phillips says:

    WTF??? This hapless companion WAS ORIGINALLY ADOPTED FROM THIS SAME FACILITY – AND THEY DIDN”T CHECK RECORDS/RECOGNIZE HIM????

    Can you say “GROSS NEGLIGENCE/UTTER INCOMPETENCE”???

    Rest-in-peace, precious Diddy – you didn’t deserve to lose your life through this avoidable set of circumstances (which could have been avoided, had your owner provided you with a collar and ID tag… since you appear to have been let out on prior occasion?

    Reply
  3. Nancy Raymond says:

    Another instance of incompetency, irresponsibility and lack of concern – I bet they never scanned Diddy for any microchip and Tom Hubric is lying through his teeth just to cover up the piss poor actions of his ‘staff’. They literally murdered Diddy for no reason whatsoever and need to own up to their idiotic so called ‘mistake’. Berk’s County Shelter needs a new honest director unlike Tom Hubric.

    Reply
  4. Barbara Hartman says:

    Can’t imagine if Diddy became aggressive on 2nd day. He probably was the type who doesn’t accept strangers, strange surroundings et,…think..if the neighbor found him, brought him to shelter…he had to be a good, cooperative cat.That was a very short holding time…I undy that it CD be overcrowded, etc..but if animals look healthy, well fed, etc…the staff should give more time for their owners to claim them…not immediately..

    Reply
  5. Red says:

    I do not understand why they are called “shelters” . These places seem to THRIVE on euthanizing animals….. they should be called Kill Cells……there is nothing

    Reply
  6. Joanne says:

    HEARTBREAKING, TRAVESTY, DESPICABLE, and SAD! ???????????????????????????????????????????????????? Sweet Diddy, I’m so very sorry you were horribly failed by those incompetent imbeciles. Angel Diddy, Rest in Sweet Heavenly Peace, you are now in the tender loving care of Jesus. Play and run with the Angels in Heaven’s soft fluffy clouds. Angel Diddy, you are loved and will not be forgotten. May God bless you and keep you safe in His care. RIP Precious Kitty ♥️????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????♥️

    Reply

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