Davenport pet owner raises questions about tracking system after unidentified cat is found dead

Local News

Most pet owners can relate. Your dog or cat goes missing, and all you can think about is finding them.

A Davenport woman is devastated after losing her cat. She’s not sure what happened, and doesn’t think she’ll ever know.

She says Davenport Public Works might be the reason.

Taylor Gardner says her cat Gavin has been missing since Friday.

She says a man found a dead cat matching Gavin’s description outside the Davenport West YMCA
That’s right across the street from her.

She says when she called Public Works they told her they forgot to take a picture of the cat .

She says their exact words were, “We just throw them in the back of the truck.”

“I hope it wasn’t my cat, but I don’t know. That is a really hard thing to live with,” says Gardner. “The last time I seen him was Friday. He was out in the yard with me and the dogs. Every night he comes home, he’s sitting at the back porch waiting to come in, but he didn’t come home.”

Local 4 reached out to Davenport Public Works, and they sent this statement.

The Public Works Department removes dead wild and domestic animals from the roadway and public right-of-way for travel and health safety reasons. Removal is performed by solid waste, sewer, and street maintenance staff based on assignment in response to public reports or observation in the field. Staff assignment is generally based on geography, such as a garbage route. When removing dead animals from these locations, staff attempts to document the animal’s identity if the animal’s condition allows, by taking a photo (when a camera is available) or including a description of the animal in the work order system.  If the animal is wearing a collar, it is removed and returned to our solid waste office.  The photo, description, or collar are held for a while to assist staff in responding to pet owners who may call wondering if their pet’s body was collected. Staff will contact pet owners to report the circumstances if their phone # is found on the collar.

All dead animals collected are disposed of in the landfill for health and safety reasons. 

Unfortunately, we collect an average of 350 dead animals each year. And collection could be by any 1 of 100 staff.  We cannot outfit all vehicles with chip scanners due to expense, nor transport dead animals for microchip scanning at a veterinary office for employee health and well-being, as well as impact to work assignments and schedules.”

That has left Gardner feeling as if she’ll never get closure.

“Now I’m going to be left wondering if that was my cat, and I don’t want anyone to feel the heartache I feel. The uncertainty of this heartache is unlike anything I’ve ever felt.” says Gardner.

Gardner says she’s willing to start a campain for donations to purchase scanners for Davenport Public Works,

Her cat is black with a white spot on his chest. If anyone has any information contact Gardner via her Facebook Page.

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