Residents Speak Out For Dead Woodbury Cat

Those questioning why Jimmy the cat was euthanized attended Wednesday night’s Woodbury City Council meeting.

The took another turn Wednesday, when dozens of people packed a Woodbury City Council meeting to show their support for Jimmy the cat and ask the city to examine how it handles animals whose owners have died.

Jimmy was owned by late Woodbury resident Mary Ray, who left the animal (and her estate) to Animal Ark, a “no-kill” shelter in Hastings. Police brought the cat to the , which euthanized the animal.

Some who attended the meeting wore buttons adorned with Jimmy’s photo and spoke with reporters after the open forum portion of the meeting.

Mike Fry, Animal Ark executive director, and Debbie Long, a Woodbury resident who organized the rally, both questioned whether the Humane Society followed state statutes when it euthanized the cat.

Ray Aboyan, COO of the Humane Society, also spoke during the open forum, saying workers followed procedure.

(Check out the video with this story to see some of their comments.)

Allie Munro came all the way from Eagan after hearing about Jimmy. “My heart was just broken.”

She is a dog owner who worries what would happen to her pet if something happened to her.

“Does that mean my dog is going to die?” Munro said.

Long, who spoke about Jimmy at a December 2011 council meeting, told Patch that the city should look at using a no-kill shelter.

Minnesota law requires animal shelters to hold stray animals for five days or until the owner comes forward, or 10 days if animals are victims of abuse, neglect or cruelty. Long said that she plans to speak with local legislators about changing state law to clear up the language in the laws.

Council members declined to comment on the matter, though Chief Lee Vague said police are looking into it. Police have been dealing with a number of other recent incidents, he said, and have not yet had time to properly research the Jimmy situation.

More Jimmy coverage:

Paul Whackernutz January 12, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Hmmm. There was just a story this past week about how the unemployment rate in Woodbury had dropped. Evidently it hasn't dropped quite enough as it looks like there are still too many people with too much time on their hands.
Susan January 12, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Paul, this has nothing to do with people that have too much time on their hands. It has everything to do with the fact that a deceased woman had a will that was ignored, period. It so happens that the property in question was a cat. Didn't you learn as a child that if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all?
AJ Vlasak January 12, 2012 at 03:04 PM
A) I hope Paul never reproduces or he may pass on his wonderful compassion to his offspring. B) I always thought "Humane" Societies were there to help pets. I have even donated more than once. When stories like this come to light, it is becoming more obvious that it is a business. All the revenue they take in apparently does not go to doing what is best for the animals. They kill them so fast, there is no time to find out if there was a will leaving the animal and money to a no-kill shelter. How sad to think that a woman died thinking her companion was going to be well cared for and this organization that people think helps homeless animals killed him. The Humane Society's policies are unacceptable. Killing an adoptable 7 year old cat after a few days is something you think would happen in a much less educated and civilized country, not here by a "Humane" Society. The city needs to stop using the Woodbury HS and paying them for their "services". How many more times has this happened when there wasn't a story written about it?
Mike Fry January 12, 2012 at 03:13 PM
To all who are following this story: Animal Ark will be releasing documents today that prove the dates and timeline put forward by Ray Aboyan are wrong. Animal Ark contacted AHS to claim Jimmy on the 4th day of impound, not the 7th day. We have the physical evidence to prove that, including a video taken of Marlene Foote at the Animal Humane Society in Woodbury on December 13 trying to reclaim Jimmy's remains. She was told at that time by Site Manager, Stacy McDonald, that AHS had contracted an attorney, that they would not release Jimmy's remains, and that Senior Management was handling this. A link to that video, which was posted to Facebook on December 13, is here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150520501738760 We will be posting other documents that prove we contacted them on the 12th, which was the 4th day of impound. And, Jimmy was already dead.
Versinn January 12, 2012 at 04:24 PM
AHS was just following the next of kin's wishes- which was to have an elderly, diabetic cat euthanized and cremated so she could be buried with her owner. I don't understand why, if Animal Ark had some sort of claim on this animal, they didn't have it microchipped and registered to them? They microchip all their other pets in their shelter In my experience, shelter software dates and timestamps all transactions. So while Animal Ark may have 'documentation' i'm sure AHS does as well. And AHS were told by Woodbury police who was the next of kin and when they were allowed to contact them
Mike Fry January 12, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Jimmy was not "elderly". And, Mary was estranged from her "next of kin" and wanted them to have nothing to do with her estate. Yes. Time-stamping is a great thing. And, it turns out the City Council has verifiable proof this began prior to December 13. Animal Ark first emailed the full council with this information on December 12. Time-stamping is a wonderful thing.
Karen Lyn January 12, 2012 at 05:20 PM
This story is a good cautionary tale for pet owners! I am now researching how to avoid this same fate for my pets by doing estate planning. Also looking into the new USB bracelets where I could store that info right on my body. Another idea I heard a guy do is nail his wishes right on to his kitchen wall. His sons knew just what to do when he died. Good info here for estate planning for your pets http://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_home/gp_solo_magazine_index/petestateplanning.html
Dave Anderson January 12, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I have been watching and reading about Jimmy the cat and it is an unfortunate story. But organizations like this Animal Ark and other so called animal lovers in Woodbury are suggesting there is some "Kevorkian" conspiracy fostered by Woodbury Public Safety and Humane Society to euthanize a pet because it was diabetic and feeble. The sneak video attack linked on one of the post above is childish and deceitful against people who provide a lot more benefit to this community than some Hasting- based animal oasis. We all love pets but I also like the people who serve and protect our community. Maybe a mistake was made but it was unintentional. Jimmy is dead and some may grieve more than others, but move one. Animal Ark, spend your energy somewhere else.
Mike Fry January 12, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Davea, what I find more tragic than someone shooting a legal under-cover video of a conversation is the fact that a growing number of people and organizations feel compelled to document all of their communications with AHS, because the agency has a track records of misrepresenting dates, and facts of all kinds. Ironic that you would be more upset about the video being taken, than about the apparent untruths being told by AHS.
Dave Anderson January 12, 2012 at 07:00 PM
There is nothing ironic about it Mike Fry. The woman you "attacked" in the under cover (very heroic by the way) video I think handled herself very professionally, unlike the interviewer. What is ironic is that the interviewer (please don't tell me it was you) seemed to become irritated with this woman's mention that their lawyer was involved and then a few minutes later threatened her with their own lawyer. One of the reasons our society is so litigious is because of people like you and the need to protect themselves against some rant for in this case mistakenly euthanizing a diabetic cat . Your issue with AHS seems to be rooted more with the idea that they humanly euthanize unwanted animals as opposed to your "no kill" organization's philosophy. Hey its over go back to Hasting and your animals who need you much more than most of Woodbury does.
Mike Fry January 12, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Davea, you are entitled to your opinion. I would ask you though, why would Animal Ark NOT be frustrated to learn that a cat for which they were responsible had been killed, without waiting the period required by law? Why would they NOT be frustrated that AHS refused to even LOOK at the legal documents? Why would they NOT be frustrated that AHS, rather than doing the right thing and trying to work with the estate, hired their own attorney? Animal Ark is frustrated that AHS kills animals that have other alternatives available to them. Jimmy was one of many of those animals. Jimmy did not need a shot of "Fatal Plus". He simply needed insulin. Furthermore, once the rightful owners of Jimmy were discovered, why would AHS not simply do the right thing and turn the remains over the Mary Ray's estate?
Dave Anderson January 12, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Ok Mike, understand, I think your point of view, and admittedly I am sure and your supporters feel stronger about a cat's life than I do. I just think you would get a lot more support for what you are after--what ever that is---if it is not just "us against them", and by doing things that silly video. ( I am not sure what exactly you proved by that?) Anyway to each his own. If you feel your greatest contribution to this community is by casting aspersions on organizations that on a whole are benefiting that same community then go right ahead. But you won't get my support nor would I think the majority of the people in Woodbury.
Mike Fry January 12, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Versinn January 12, 2012 at 09:25 PM
and yet- no microchip? Animal Ark has admitted to being aware that the Mary was estranged from her next of kin, that she was elderly and lived alone. Were they occassionally checking on her and Jimmy (since they were so clearly 'invested' in Jimmy's life)? Why then did poor Mary lay dead in her home for a week while her poor cat went without her twice daily insulin shot? Feels like if Animal Ark is going to have such a close relationship with someone that they are going to be left 100% of her belongings including the care of a beloved cat, then maybe they should actually be INVESTED in this family instead of just waiting for her to keel over and die so they can get the goods
Versinn January 12, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Isn't Jimmy a female cat? i just can't understand why you are suddenly so concerned about the fate of this cat when it's clear that you didn't do due diligence, or even care enough to be bothered to know the cat is actually female
D Paul January 12, 2012 at 11:33 PM
We seems to have real problems in our society that deserve way more energy and attention than this.
Dave Anderson January 13, 2012 at 06:30 PM
D. Paul I guess that is my point, but you said it better than I did.
Susan January 13, 2012 at 06:52 PM
D Paul, there will always be problems in society that deserve more attention than something else, that's just common sense. However, I don't understand people that think just because an issue is something they don't agree with that makes it not important to others. Perhaps it's that mindset that causes the "real problems" in our society?
Mike Fry January 13, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Well, said, Susan. If the "aren't there more important problems" argument held any water, I guess we should all only focus on one issue... but, which one would that be? The whole argument is usually put up by people trying to defend the status quo, while, at the same time, trying to pretend to not be doing so...
Dave Anderson January 13, 2012 at 11:43 PM
I think any rational person would agree there are MANY more important people-related problems in our society like unemployment, education, health care,and taxes to name a few. I do not think we are suggesting the status quo or that there is only one important issue to deal with when commenting on your actions. The death of a cat---whether by accident or through some diabolical conspiracy as some would suggest---is unfortunate. Many of us like our pets. You may have your own priorities and that's up to you, but after you elevate those priorities as some societal disaster, accompanied by flimsy allegations, public hyperbole and 60 Minute wannabee tactics, I feel we have the right to comment on them. For me personally-- I go with priorities that DIRECTLY affect PEOPLE.
Susan January 15, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Davea, how is it that a will can be ignored and "PEOPLE" aren't "DIRECTLY" affected? Really? Then why bother having a will if a defense of, "opps, we forgot to ask" can be used? You seem to always forget that part of the argument. I, for one, am glad to see something being done about this rather than a bunch of people just venting their views on a comment board. I also wonder why you have such a strong opinion on this matter if you think it isn't that important?
Mike Fry January 15, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Susan, you nailed that one! The people who vent on and on about this not being "important" are putting up a rather think smoke-screen. After all, if they consider it unimportant, why do they spend so much time on it!? Why would they not just move on to the issues they think are important? LOL.
Dave Anderson January 16, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Please . Mike Fry and Susan I don't think the issue of Jimmy the cat dying is that important, but I do think what is more significant is people like who are are looking to create some kind of controversy where there is none---outside of your own mind, In the process you are unfairly accusing public servants and an organization that contributes much more than your Hastings pet sanctuary ever will to our community. I suggest you submit this terrible injustice to Jesse Ventura and his conspiracy theory show. It ill fit right in with the third bullet theory and those crazy issues
Susan January 16, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Davea, since you seem so misinformed let me set you straight here. First off, I am a long time WOODBURY resident, not Hastings, and the only pet sanctuary I am involved in is in my home with my two pets. I have never accused any public servant of anything. As for the organization that contributes, yes, I do have a big problem with ANY organizations that break the law. Once again, you forget about that part. Let me remind you, they IGNORED a legal WILL! Lastly, I am defending Mike because he has every right to be up in arms about this as he was mentioned in the WILL. I'm certain if someone left something to you in a WILL and it was ignored you would be upset too. Your negative attitude and narrow minded opinions might be better used to help right a wrong instead of putting down others trying to do just that. Unless of course you are somehow involved in the business that broke the law, which by the sounds of it you are.
Dave Anderson January 16, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Susan should have separated you from Mr. Fry and his actions. I only included you based on your comment that about importance of the story. I apologize for grouping your motives with Mr. Fry's although it appears you believe him more than your public safety people . For the record I have no involvement with AHS other than actually adopting a stray dog from them. In addition I know many instances where they have helped neighbors in Woodbury with their pets. It is unfortunate that the will in questions was not followed but to say it was ignored enters into the same craziness as Mr Fry likes to propose. At worst a mistake was made for which I am sure everyone has learned from.
Benita Johnson-Young January 16, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I have read and re-read the comments to this article. It saddens me that many think that not complying to a will or a persons 'last wishes' is acceptable. After reading about the plight of this poor lady and her cat, I started to 'investigate' what policies my area has about pets who are left behind because of a death. It seems they would be taken to the Animal Shelter and subsequently euthanized. This for me is not acceptable. You see, I may not be 'elderly'...but I have terminal cancer. I am alone with my pets and do not want them euthanized after I am gone. So I have taken things into my own hands, and I am trying to find good homes for them before my demise. I know now that my will and 'last wishes' would not be honored...which is sad really...that's why I had one drawn up, so others would know what I wanted after I was gone. Yes, there are more 'important' things going on in the world these days...but to some of us, THIS is important enough to do something about...I may not be able to feed the world's hungry...but I can try and save my pets.
Angel Williams January 17, 2012 at 12:41 AM
My OWN personal opinion is what happened is Appalling. I live alone, my pets ARE my closest family, even though I DO have Family already that will care for my pets. But now we have to worry if they don't get here fast enough will are pets be taken away and put in the hands of some that will take things in their own hands first? It's NOT like we all have expiration dates on our lives...only ONE knows that plan. A will is only good IF someone reads it first, a "chip" is ONLY good IF someone is caring enough to think about it and scan it. Should we Now attach "Medical Alert" tags to our pets to draw immediate attention to them that MAYBE they will be contacted first B4 our pets are harmed? Our pets "Medical Condition" is the Fear that they could Lose Their Life B4 family gets there in time! That IS a "Medical Condition". And to those that say it ISN'T the Fact that Jimmy lost there life that is the issue, its HOW it was handled... Wrong! It IS the Fact that Jimmy Did Lose His Life!! Even though Plans Were in place! What good is a WILL if no one Reads it first! It doesn't matter if the will is in regards to Someone's Estate OR their Loved Pets! IF that Will would have been there for a Millionaire...for SURE it would have been read QUICK!! A Will is to PROTECT what is Most Important to the Person that took the time to Have the LEGAL Document Already In Place! =^..^=
Angel Williams January 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
...HER Life.


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