"She's pretty tough, obviously " said Janita Coombs of Syracuse, a volunteer with the Community Animal Welfare Society who is taking care of the cat. "She's definitely got some will to live."
Andrea had been taken to the West Valley City Animal Shelter by officers because she was a stray, though she is affectionate toward people and house trained and obviously had been someone's pet, said Coombs. She was kept 30 days but then put on the death list when no one had adopted her and the shelter did not have room to continue boarding the cat, said Aaron Crim, West Valley City director of public relations.
Andrea was placed in the shelter's carbon monoxide gas chamber Thursday to be euthanized, but she showed signs of life when she was taken out. Workers placed her in a second time and then checked again for vital signs and found none and placed the cat in a plastic bag in a cooler.
"There were no vitals and for whatever reason as time went on the cat came back to life," said Crim, who said the workers followed proper procedures.
After finding her live in the bag, the workers agreed that they should not try to kill the cat again, he said.
"It was just one of those things where they thought this cat obviously really wants to live," Crim said. "Let's give it a chance to find a permanent home."
Coombs said Sunday that she was keeping the cat at her home and that the group is looking for someone they know to adopt Andrea permanently.
"When we first got her, she had some difficulty walking," said Coombs. "When they found her hypothermic in the freezer she had vomited and defecated on herself, but she has since seemed to recover quite well. … If you just look at her she looks perfectly healthy."
No More Homeless Pets Utah says about 30,000 animals were euthanized in the state in 2010; nearly 25,000 were adopted.
Coombs and Crim urged people to adopt animals from shelters, so fewer are killed, and to spay and neuter those they do own.
She also said the group was seeking information on why the gas chamber failed to work.
"The chamber was working properly," said Crim. "In fact, several other cats were euthanized at the same time, and this cat is the only one that survived."