Brown County Humane Society Cleared in Killing of Kitten

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(New Ulm, MN) – The Brown County Humane Society (BCHS) has been cleared after its controversial killing of a family’s lost pet.

The six-month-old kitten was euthanized last week, less than 24 hours after it was brought in by a good samaritan, who said it was friendly and cuddly. BCHS says it had to kill the kitten to test it for rabies because it bit a volunteer and had no tags.

New Ulm Animal Control investigated the incident and passed the information on to the New Ulm City Attorney’s Office, which determined that no state laws or local ordinances were violated.

Despite the ruling, there is still much anger and confusion over the actions of BCHS, with people calling on the “no-kill” shelter to follow certain protocols when euthanizing animals in the future.

The kitten, named Elvis, was owned by the son and grandsons of Jean Geistfeld.

Geistfeld tells SMT that BCHS staff has not been honest about the circumstances surrounding the euthanizing of the cat. She also says normal protocol is for a pet to be quarantined for at least 5 days, and that it should have first been placed with New Ulm Animal Control.

She also notes that the kitten was actually adopted from BCHS just a few months earlier and was fully vaccinated.

Geistfeld says since the story came out, many people who previously volunteered or worked for BCHS have said there’s been a pattern at the shelter of being “too quick to euthanize.”

Last year, there were no rabies cases of any kind in Brown County and only one feline case statewide in far northwest Minnesota.

The death of Elvis is expected to be brought up when the Brown County Humane Society holds its annual meeting Monday night at the Pizza Ranch in New Ulm. The meeting starts at 6:00 and is open to the public.

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