Halifax Humane Society euthanizes cats without contacting owner

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A pet owner is distraught after Halifax Humane Society euthanized two of her cats only one day after they were put up for adoption, despite an agreement saying they wouldn't be killed.

Channel 9's Bianca Castro asked about the major changes it's making to keep it from happening again.

Lake County resident Erin Kapalo dropped off her cats at Halifax Humane Society, knowing that she would be able to pick them back up if they weren't able to be adopted out.

Two days after she brought them here, she learned both Sam and Butter had been put down.

"I brought them here in a cat carrier and I'm bringing them home in this little box. And I just -- it was sad," Kapalo said.

Erin Kapalo sat next to her pets' ashes as she said how she thought she was doing the right thing when she decided to put her cats up for adoption.

She was moving and couldn't take them with her.

The shelters around Erin's Lake County home weren't taking in anymore animals, so she drove 60 miles, an hour and 10 minute drive, to Halifax Humane Society thinking she was giving her pets the best chance possible at finding a new home.

"When I filled out the paperwork I just marked on there, to be sure to call me if they're not adoptable," Kapalo said.

When staff determined the cats weren't good candidates for adoption, they were euthanized.

Kapalo said she only found out when she called to check up on the pair.

"I was devastated. I started crying," Kapalo said.

"This is an isolated incident but still that doesn't make it acceptable," said Tyler Stover, community outreach director for the humane society.

It's why changes have been implemented at the center.

Staff will not only write down an owner's wishes but enter them into the computer.

They'll have to check both before euthanizing any animal.

It's little comfort for Kapalo.

"I just hope this doesn't happen to anybody else," Kapalo said.

The option to pick up a surrendered animal has been available for two years. Every employee has been retrained to make sure what happened to Kapalo's cats, doesn't happen to anyone else's pets, according to officials.