A Broward animal welfare organization is under fire after shocking video of one of its volunteers being rough with a cat emerged.
In the video, a unidentified volunteer for Cat Crusade is seen using a broom to forcefully push “Mocha”, a cat, against a wall divider.
The volunteer uses profanity and becomes visibly angry while shoving the broom at the cat.
“Get the fuck out!,” the woman says on video. “Go! Go! Come on! Move! Out! Out! Out Mocha!”
The video was taken by Nadia Sazonova yesterday at a Hollywood PetSmart.
She then sent it to RISE NEWS.
In a phone interview, Sazonova said that the incident occurred at the cat adoption section of the PetSmart.
She said that there were a number of cats in that area at the time of the incident.
She was at the store to pick up a leash for her dog when her attention was drawn to the cat adoption section.
“When I was passing by she was cursing,” Sazonova said. “When I came closer, I saw she had a broom and was hitting the cat, so I started to record.”
“Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of pets in our care,” PetSmart said in a statement to RISE NEWS. “As soon as we were alerted to to the incident with Mocha, we took immediate action to ensure that Mocha was unharmed. Additionally, the volunteer of our partner organization, Cat Crusaders, that committed the act was immediately removed from the store and will not be allowed to return.”
A PetSmart spokesperson told RISE NEWS that the pet chain works with over 4,000 different animal welfare organizations across the country, and even supplies space for their operations in its stores.
However, the spokesperson said that it is up to the individual partner animal welfare organizations to vet the volunteers who work out of space at PetSmart.
“It’s a unfornature incident that occurred with a volunteer,” the spokesperson said.
But for Sazonova, that response isn’t enough.
“I would like this woman not to work with pets anymore or for her to be charged with animal cruelty,” Sazonova said.
According to its website, Cat Crusade provides care for 50-80 stray cays per month in Broward County.
PetSmart said that they brought Mocha the cat to a veterinarian immediately after learning of the incident and that the cat is doing fine.
Cat Crusaders did not immediately respond to requests for comment. We will update this story if they do.