ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A woman is speaking out after she says she took a dying feral cat to Animal Welfare to have it euthanized. To her surprise, days later, that cat was back at her house and she says it was in even worse condition.

It started a few days before Thanksgiving, a woman who lives along Stanford in Nob Hill says she found a sickly stray cat in her backyard. She says it was extremely thin, in bad shape and living in an abandoned chicken coop.

“I realized she probably wasn’t going to make it. So, I figured a humane euthanasia was the humane thing to do,” said Tamara.

Tamara who only wanted us to use her first name took the cat to Animal Welfare on November 27. But just three days later, she found the cat back in her yard, drinking from her pond.

“I didn’t think it was the same cat, and then I went back to the chicken coop with a flashlight and there she was,” Tamara said.

According to records provided through a source within Animal Welfare, the cat weighed a mere five pounds and was opened up on November 29 for sterilization.

The medical report says “no ovaries were found” and the cat was “presumed spayed.” The Activity Card shows the very next day, on November 30, the cat was brought back to Tamara’s neighborhood.

“I could see that her belly had been shaved and that’s when I realized to my horror that they had actually put that ill, emaciated cat through surgery,” she said.

So she trapped the cat and brought it to a vet. The animal hospital’s report shows on December second, the cat weighed 4.30 pounds, was “emaciated, severely dehydrated”, and they “suspected cardiovascular shock.” The vet then immediately euthanized the cat.

“The only thing I could come up with is that they really want to keep their euthanasia numbers low,” she said.

Animal Welfare said they would never put a sick cat back on the streets. If that happened in this case, they say it was an error, and they will work to prevent it from happening again.

A spokesperson for the department also said they operated on the cat because there were no signs of a past procedure. They said staff stopped as soon as they realized she’d already been spayed.

Animal Welfare says the national standard is 24 hour recovery time following minor surgery. and that it’s not uncommon to release a cat in that amount of time.

Right now they have 400 cats in the shelters, and 300 in foster care, which the department says it at capacity.

Tamara says she has filed a complaint with 311 but has yet to hear back.