Local rescue volunteer continues animal cruelty case

mhankerson@newsobserver.comDecember 13, 2013 

Wiggins (above) and Gunnison (below) were two cats recovered from Carol De Olloqui's home and sent to Safe Haven for Cats in Raleigh.

MECHELLE HANKERSON — mhankerson@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Carol De Olloqui, the former president of a local animal rescue organization had court proceedings involving three counts of animal cruelty continued to Jan. 21.

The Wake County Animal Shelter seized a total of 93 animals from De Olloqui’s home at the beginning of November. The shelter was able to save 30 cats and three dogs by giving them to three independent shelters.

The other 60 cats had to be euthanized because of various medical conditions and the county shelter’s available space.

The case outline, provided by Wake County Animal Shelter, said the animals had upper respiratory infections varying in severity, some were dehydrated, emaciated, covered in feces and one cat had an infected feeding tube.

Some of the animals were De Olloqui’s personal pets but there were also foster pets in the home, waiting to be permanently housed. Lynn Barclay, a member of Calvin’s Paws where De Olloqui used to be president, said some cats had microchips, which means they could have been returned to another owner.

Barclay also said it was possible some of the cats belonged to Calvin’s Paws. The organization does not have its own shelter space and relies on volunteers to house the cats until they are adopted or find a more permanent foster owner.

As of Dec. 10, Calvin’s Paws had 293 pets available for adoption.

Community response

De Olloqui’s case also sparked concern among the local rescue community. Some, like Trixie Perry and Shannon Lack, were concerned Wake County handled the situation unfairly.

They created an online petition asking for the resignation of Wake County Animal Shelter’s Director, Jennifer Federico, claiming she unnecesarily euthanized 60 cats and took extreme actions against De Olloqui.

Their petition claimed De Olloqui was physically restrained and wasn’t given the chance to provide medical records for the animals.

Perry and Lack presented the petition with 1,895 signatures to Joseph Threadcraft, Wake County’s director of environmental services and Federico’s supervisor.

He said the department reviewed the case and while there was room for improvement, he didn’t see anything that was of serious concern.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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