NC Man Faces Felony Charges after Saving 37 Death Row Cats


Edward McIrvin has done his level best to win the “Cat Guy of the Year” title. This volunteer at the Rockingham animal shelter in Reidsville, NC is facing felony charges for catnapping 37 cats slated for euthanasia.

McIrvin, who plans to turn himself in to Reidsville police on Monday, is working to find homes for all the catnap-ees.

If I go to jail, I hope the cats are saved before then, he said.

After breaking into the shelter and stealing the cats, McIrvin paid a veterinary hospital $5,800 to spay/neuter and board the cats for one week. The $5800 also covers adoption fees.

As of late Friday, eight of the felines had been adopted, and veterinary staff said there was a line of others waiting to adopt.

Kathe Nagy, office manager at Reidsville Veterinary Hospital, said the hospital did not want to press charges against McIrvin, but had no choice. Rockingham County contracts with the hospital for shelter space, and the cats are county property. The director of the shelter–who assisted McIrvin–may lose her job over the incident.

Like many shelters, the Rockingham regularly takes in many more cats than it can adopt out. According to Nagy, as many as 40 cats are brought in each week, and most face euthanasia.

McIrvin said Thursday he took the cats because he feared they would be euthanized. He housed them temporarily in a Greensboro office and planned to foster them.

He did the wrong thing but for a good reason, Nagy said. He has a very good heart. Hes a lot of peoples hero right now.

Nagy said many of them had overstayed the 72-hour mandatory hold period and would have been euthanized Tuesday. A total of 23 cats and 14 dogs were euthanized that day, she said.

Let Reidsville know that Edward McIrvin is a hero, not a felon:
Reidsville NC police: (336) 349-1010

Rockingham County Animal Shelter
336-342-4022 or


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