While the Wake County Animal Center says it was necessary because of the animal's poor health, some animal advocates have responded by starting a petition calling for the shelter's director to step down.
It all started when authorities conducted a raid earlier this month at Jean De Olloqui's Raleigh home. She was the president of the nonprofit animal rescue called Calvins Paws.
"There were 90 cats, three dogs," said Wake County Environmental Services Director Joseph Threadcraft. "The three dogs were placed and 30 cats were placed. The remainder of the cats was humanely euthanized."
It's the deaths of those 60 cats that have enraged some area animal lovers. Still, shelter staff and Wake County authorities say with the center already full they had no choice.
"Because of their medical condition, and the potential for the spread of disease, it was a professional decision made on the basis of their medical condition," said Threadcraft. "If they were to have been brought back we do not have the space for a complete and proper isolation."
Meanwhile, animal rights activists have responded with shock and anger. They have started a petition which has more than 1,000 signatures calling for the director to step down.
One woman writes: "I am at a loss as to why these cats were euthanized."
While another person says: "This was not a solution to the problem. Other options should have been explored first."
Yet another person writes: "What kind of person would do something like that. She does not need to be director of animal services."
That "she" is Jennifer Federico, the acting director. Wake county officials say she has their full support and isn't going anywhere.
Officials said Federico has no plans to step down.
Staff at the shelter says that if you're concerned about animals in the area, first make sure to spay and neuter your own pets. Second, think about fostering some of the animals at the shelter. Or third, consider adopting an animal.
Right now, they even have a special to adopt a cat for just $15.