Monroe County is changing its procedures after an error recently caused a cat and its kittens to be left unattended for an extended time.
That happened after a Waterloo Police Department officer dropped off the animals at the pound and a currently undetermined breakdown in communication occurred, according to Monroe County Commissioner Dennis Knobloch.
“There was a time lapse between when they were dropped off and when the person who was supposed to be at the pound for the county found the cats,” Knobloch said. “That is what led to the problems.”
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department oversees the county’s animal control operations. The animal control warden is Eric Allscheid.
But the sheriff’s department has given some keys to the animal pound, located at 619 W. Third Street in Waterloo, to some area police departments so they can drop off animals they find at odd hours of the night or on the weekend.
When that happens, the police department fills out a log with pertinent information like the animals were found and what officer found them.
Somewhere in that process, however, a notification was not made.
“It looks like this was a lapse in communication,” Knobloch said.
Individuals posted on social media that at least one kitten died as a result, though Knobloch did not confirm that.
He said the county is now ensuring this does not happen again.
“At this point, we’re just trying to clean up some of the procedures,” he said.
Knobloch said Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing has already revised some of the policies regarding communications for the pound.
Knobloch added that he plans to meet with Helping Strays, a no-kill animal shelter located at 4221 Hanover Road north of Waterloo, soon to get that organization’s input on ways to prevent similar errors.
“I think a lot of it has been resolved already, but we’re just going to make sure things don’t fall through the cracks like they did in this situation,” Knobloch said.