EDITOR’S NOTE: Some of these details below may be difficult to read.
A St. Louis based company has changed its cleaning procedures after a cat was found dead in an enclosure earlier this year.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture report, Nestlé Purina conducted an immediate investigation and made immediate changes to their animal enclosure and room cleaning procedures, including adding the appropriate training documentation.
An Ohio-based national watchdog group that monitors animal facilities for animal abuse has filed a complaint against Nestlé Purina.
The cat, who was an adult male named Tyson, died during a routine cleaning at Purina headquarters in downtown St. Louis at a Nestlé Purina laboratory.
"The cat, which was dark gray, went unnoticed by the staff when the cats were placed back in the open room. The large, dark gray holding/transport device was then sent to the enclosure wash. Upon completion of the cleaning cycle, the cat was found deceased in the enclosure," the inspection said, according to a press release from Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN)
Sending a cat through a cagewasher, which sterilizes with heat, would have caused a horrific death for the cat, essentially boiling the animal alive, explained SAEN.
SAEN filed an official complaint with the USDA, calling for the maximum penalty of $10,000 per infraction/per animal.
"Any minimally qualified person would know enough to act correctly to prevent this gruesome and unnecessary death," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., co-founder of SAEN. "You count the cats when placing them back into an enclosure, and you take the time to actually look into an enclosure before it is sterilized. Purina staff missed this animal twice."
Nestlé Purina statement
We are deeply saddened that this unfortunate accident occurred. We are pet owners too and we care for all our pets. Their welfare is our top priority.
We self-reported the situation to the United States Department of Agriculture and took immediate steps to ensure our procedures eliminated future potential for this type of accident. This included updating our process and re-training all employees.