Bitter Sweet Award for Animal Shelter
ALACHUA COUNTY - It was a bitter-sweet day for one agency who received an award Thursday.
Alachua County Animal Services was honored for its role in rescuing 708 cats from brutal conditions in what was supposed to be a cat sanctuary.
The ceremony also honored the memory of an employee who was instrumental in the cat's rescue and care.
Along with a 2012 Humane Law Enforcement Award, the shelter received a $500 check in honor of Persephone Athena, who was killed in a car accident in May.
Staff say Athena -- also known as "The Cat Lady" --was crucial in the abused cat's healing process after they were rescued from Haven Acres in July 2011.
The shelter spent two years collecting evidence that led to the raid.
While many of the cats had to be euthanized, all other cats were adopted out, including 258 adopted at Humane Society adoption events.
The check, presented by The Humane Society of the United States, will be used to refurbish a room used to house ferral cats.
The room will also be named after Athena.
Staff told TV 20 that she used to put the ferral cats in her pockets and walk around the facility with them. Many of the cats she treated were thought to be un-adoptable, but through her care...they found homes, said staff.
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