Here is the information as posted on our original Feral Paws Rescue website:
Welcome to Feral Paws Rescue fighting to save the feral cats at Avenal State Prison, that Kathy Mendoza-Powers put in harmsway. Update: Great news, Warden Powers is GONE! We are now going to deal with the new Acting Warden Lonnie Watson.
Feral Paws Rescue is dedicated to ADVOCATING for NONLETHAL methods to reduce the feral cat population at Avenal State Prison.
The Avenal State Prison Cat Program Story
On Oct. 28, 2000, Warden Mendoza Powersgave orders to install gates over the openings the cats used to access shelter under the a portable office building. The work was done during the day, in order to trap the cats underneath, so they would be left to starve to death.
Bodies of dead kittens that were removed.
When Warden Mendoza Powers was contacted about this, she denied it. However, 3 employees of the prison smuggled in cameras inside and took pictures of the cats peering out from the air vents.Access was eventually given to volunteers to go under and remove the dead bodies, and the gates were then left open, giving the cats free access.
This picture shows a cat that suffered an inhumane and illegal death. So Warden Mendoza Powers was guilty of a crime!
The Story of Warden Mendoza Powers 2002 until the beginning of 2005!
Acting Warden Mendoza Powers was replaced, not because of the cat program, by Warden Huskey. Warden Huskey supported the program to trap spay/neuter and release the cats. The first estimate of 100 to 200 cats on the grounds was grossly under estimated. The cats had lived at the prison for 20 years, and the population had grown to around 600. Hundreds of the cats were tacken off grounds by volunteers to be spay/neuterd, tested for feline leukemia, feline aids, & internal, external parasites. ALL test came back negative. Hundreds of kittens were removed, hand raised by volunteers, spay/neutered & adopted to new families through the Calif. Feline Foundation. Many hours & money donated by volunteers, Veterinarians, inmates of this program were beginning to reduce the population.
Warden Rowers came on board in 2003 & feeding stations were built by inmates from discarded materials. They also maintained the feeding & watering stations. A grave yard was established by the inmates for the cats that died on grounds. This was also maintained by the volunteer inmates. Warden Rowers also issued a memo that all cats were to be treated humanely & any individuals, inmates or staff, causing harm, would be punished to the extent of the law.Warden Rowers retired & Acting Warden Mendoza Powers was in charge of the prison again!
During the years of 2002 & 2003, 19 cats died on the prison grounds. During the first 8 months of Acting Warden Mendoza Powers return, 102 cats died.
All feeding stations had to be destroyed and all cats had to be trapped and euthanized. The prison had in fact been cited by OSHA because of excess feces in one area of the prison. Ironically the volunteer inmates had been forbidden to clean up after the cats that lived in this hard pan area. Upon contacting OSHA, there had been no order to that the cats had to be destroyed. However, the conditions had to be corrected.
Since February, 2006, hundreds of cats have been trapped & removed & placed by volunteers. None of the cats were euthanized with the exception of a few that had been left in traps to long, and due to the injuries they suffered, with Veterinarian advice had to be euthanized.So once again the illegal and inhumane practices of Acting Warden Mendoza Powers continues. WHY does she do it? Because she can!!!!!!!! Not only were these acts of cruelty condoned by her, her present policies to deal with the cat overpopulation, have cost the state of California about $100,000.00. Gee the TNR program of the past years, conducted by volunteers didn’t cost the state a dime!
She also issued a directive that the cemetery had to be destroyed because it violated the Kings County ordinance, concerning burying of pets. This was another lie. You see the cemetery was on State grounds, could not be affected by a County ordinance. Even so, when the cemetery was built, it met the Kings County standards. Why was this destroyed? The cats were already dead, but it is just another slam at the volunteers, inmates & employees efforts to protect the cats, dead or alive.Also, Mendoza Powers was appointed to the position of WARDEN. Even though the Governor had been made aware of her practices. So now when she retires in the near future, her benefit package as Warden will be greeted than Acting Warden. It’s your tax dollar at work?
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Write, call, email, contact any of the listed and voice your opinion to these costly, cruel and illegal practices, introduced by WARDEN MENDOZA POWERS!