Hearts Break at Kodak’s Needless Death and Controversy Flares

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By Karen Harrison Binette

Photo via In Memory of Kodak on Facebook.
Image created by Myléne Karina López Mafúz


I remember seeing Kodak’s photograph at Facebook when he was being networked for rescue in recent days. His sweet face with the odd little expression, due to his blindness, reached out from the screen, touching those who viewed the photo that would mean the difference between life and death as he sat at the shelter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Kodak was in the stray cat room at the shelter run by Companion Animal Alliance, a nonprofit organization that contracts with the Baton Rouge City-Parish to run the city’s municipal open admission shelter.

An update to Kodak’s networking photo said, “Kodak is a precious feral that is in a shelter in Baton Rouge. He is being pulled under Don’t Be Cruel and vetted and is going to be boarded for a little while. We are trying to figure out the best place for him to live out his life. It may just be at the sanctuary. Over 2000 people shared him on Facebook!”

Don’t Be Cruel Sanctuary, of Albany, Louisiana, was a key player in the effort to rescue Kodak from the shelter and save his life. They raised money for his care through donations and were set to pull him from the shelter.

Homeless Animal Lifeline, from New Jersey (Facebook page, Homeless Animal Lifeline) , was one of the rescues offering to pull Kodak for rescue, and to act as backup if needed. Kodak was widely shared, widely known, and had a large support network in place to save him. He was safe, and CAA publicly acknowledged that he would be spared and pulled.

Shelter Animal Allies of Louisiana saved a screen shot from last Friday, February 15 where CAA responded to an inquiry on a comment thread at Facebook, confirming that Kodak was safe and would leave the shelter with a rescuer.

Detail from Shelter Animal Allies of Louisiana‘s screen shot.


Another Facebook screen capture confirms that CAA planned to release Kodak for rescue:


Everything was in place for Kodak, then something went wrong. Despite all arrangements being in place, he was killed by the shelter on Monday, the day he was scheduled for release. That same day, news spread among rescues and their supporters that Kodak had been killed by Companion Animal Alliance before he could be saved. Controversy and criticism also spread, and negative comments on CAA’s Facebook page were deleted. CAA has variously cited aggressive behavior and miscommunication to explain Kodak’s needless death.

Advocacy blog YesBiscuit! wrote about Kodak’s killing yesterday, in Was it in writing? Why yes, it was!.

An In Memory of Kodak Facebook page has been set up “as a place to remember Kodak and discuss ways to make positive changes to the current animal shelter system.” The page is the locus of remembrance and discussion in the painful aftermath of Kodak’s needless death.

CAA Executive Director Beth Brewster responded to the backlash over Kodak’s death at Facebook today, saying:

Thank you for all caring about the animals in our care and especially Kodak. Due to miscommunication that a rescue was indeed coming for him after holding him for 21 days, Kodak was put down. He had become extremely aggressive to staff and was hurting himself in the cage and I made the decision. We are working on structuring our process so that this does not happen again. We have identification cards made for each cat’s cage identifying rescue group, person rescuing and date for pick up. We take in over 9000 animals a year and my goal is to save as many as possible. We set up the memorial fund in his name to help other cats in our care and to purchase feral boxes that protect the animal as well as the staff.


Beth Brewster
Executive Director


A newly uploaded video tells the story of Kodak’s death and the resultant controversy:

The video creator writes:

Kodak was a blind cat located at the Companion Animal Alliance shelter in Baton Rouge, LA. Despite having one confirmed rescue organization (and plenty of others on standby) ready and willing to pull him, he was euthanized on February 18, 2013, the day that he was supposed to be pulled from the shelter. The CAA’s reasons for doing so have changed constantly in the days since his death, and they have been doing everything in their power to make this go away, including deleting Facebook posts they had made confirming that Kodak had, indeed, been claimed by another rescue organization. We are not going to let this go away, and I hope this video helps serve that purpose – please share Kodak’s story!

Contact Companion Animal Alliance


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0 thoughts on “Hearts Break at Kodak’s Needless Death and Controversy Flares”

  1. CAA=SNAFU (situation normal all F’D up).
    Many cats, kittens, dogs, pups, seniors and lost pets whose owners come to reclaim them have been “accidently” PTS by CAA. Also, 3 inept directors in 2 years, CAA board has no accountablity. This shelter is a DEATH camp.

  2. We should all throw Beth and the other “caretakers” in crate and cages, put them in an as unfamiliar place and make lots of noises. And once that is done we euthanize them like they did this poor, sweet precious baby. This makes me cry every single time and it makes me sick! Us as humans, we are the mean, heartless, nasty inhumane creatures, not this cat, or any other cat or animal. This CAA should be downright ashamed of themselves!

    This was not fair AT ALL! He deserved a fair chance to live, but you all cut that short.

    I hope you can all live with yourselves, and all of the guilt, that is if you heartless, worthless pieces of scum at CAA have any

  3. Has anyone gotten proof that Kodiak really existed and was really in the care of CAA? Could this have been fraud? Somehow, the “give us money for his care, oops he’s gone, give us more money” posts just don’t sound right. Maybe it’s time for an investigation by the authorities.

  4. Kodiak was 100% real, I saw him with my own eyes while pulling non feral cats for a rescue organization.
    I volunteered at CAA for a few years before moving away, it still baffles me that a semi feral adult being euthanized draws more attention than the fact that high intake shelters (like CAA) euthanize lots of super friendly and healthy cats! There is so much more to this story than what this article provides. Kodiak stayed in their stray room for 2 months! Why keep him in that situation for so long just to euthanize him once a way out was found? This whole situation was a terrible mess 🙁

  5. I have many times considered the same things that you mentioned… There is a lot of money involved in these pleas for helpless animals and have sat back and watched people being emotionally raped and robbed of their money because their tender hearts were being stroked by greedy so-called rescues or shelters…This hurts the causes for the legitimate ones..

  6. Yes, this absolutely happened. All took place live on Facebook. There is A Facebook page, If I remember correctly, The Shelter Pet Project. Where they post photos of “Last Chance Pets”. Those that are signed up for this page with get these photos, with the opportunity to share with there friends, in turn that person will receive updates on that pet. I am such a person. Being I at the time owned 6 black cats and lived in nearby, Alabama, I was watching Kodak closely. Yes, there was interest in Kodak. Yes, I was one, not THE one, but I was one, that was interested in Kodak. Yes, I put in my name. I was waiting to hear word. Word came via Facebook, a home was found for Kodak. No, it was no with me, they was now looking for transporters. Transporters were all lined up and rolling. That is the back story on Kodak leading up to his rescue that did not happen as it happened via Facebook. Hope this helps for any doubters. I would have adopted Kodak, someone beat me to it. I have since lost two to old age (18 and 19 years old) and since adopted three. The latest black black baby last Thursday 2/20/14, in memory of my Dad 2/3/14. My Dad would take cats that was dropped off on his street into his home. RIP Kodak

  7. I have a newly blind dog. It takes adjustment. Surprisingly he has done better than I ever would have dreamed.
    It’s a shame that cat was put down. He deserved a chance.

  8. shame on you for taking this innocent life… he was ready for new life… there was nothing ‘humane’ about any of this!!!

  9. He was too wild to test for FIV? were they not able to drug him to sleep? what do you think that vets who do spays and neuters do with feral cats? hello!!! they basically just gave up on him! they should all be fired from their jobs! my goodness he was blind! he must have been terrified!

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