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Forum Issues with Cat Theft Epidemic (2)

Issues with Cat Theft Epidemic (2)

Quote | 7 years ago

It's been going on for years, at least in the U.S., probably many other places too, but this one I know personally. There are so many instances where people's lost indoor or pet cats that are ALLOWED outside, ending up either taken in/stolen by neighbors, or brought to shelters as "strays". Sometimes even "feral" cats aren't always wild cats, but someone's cat who may be xenophobic and aggressive towards strangers. But most people don't know, or choose to look the other way, until it is THEIR pet that is missing, and it's more frustrating when you find out your neighbor stole your cat and won't give it back, or that a shelter euthanized your pet or adopted it to someone else.

Something just like this happened to a woman in West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA. She has a facebook page here for getting her cat, Chrissy, back. She had adopted the cat from a shelter 9 years ago, and was indoor-only. When she got lost, she put up lost posters and asked all over, and someone in her town took her and brought her to a vet, where she was scanned and her microchip popped up. The vet called the shelter, who called the owner, and told her they had given her cat to someone else because she was "not fit to have her, being that someone found her outside". Here's her page to support her in her efforts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/192678234181266/207232876059135/?notif_t=group_activity

And I, personally have had pet cats stolen in the past by our neighbor who is on our city's council, so he believes he can get away with it. We had to get authorities involved to get one of our 2 cats back (both brothers) ....we couldn't prove they had his brother, who had been taken from our yard on Halloween several years earlier. But this is ongoing and more common than people realize, so I can relate to this poor woman. That's why I started my own petition to hold shelters, vets, and good Samaritans responsible to return people's pets to their families, and not decide whether it's ok to keep someone else's pet, give it to someone else, or euthanize it. Our laws don't always work the way they should. Please take a look and sign the petition: http://signon.org/sign/found-animal-report-law

Quote | 7 years ago
edited by

This lady is taking the shelter who stole her microchipped cat to court on April 26!! Please join her cause. (link above)

(To clarify from original poster) We did end up getting the one brother back (Milo-), but the one missing since Halloween 2005 (Neptune-Both Milo's and Neptune's stories are on their pages) is still lost/stolen and dearly missed. That's why I'm happy now that I'm out of school (I was ~13 when Neptune went missing) and it's no longer up to my parents to decide, that all of our cats are indoor-only, even those who were previously allowed out have been successfully converted to indoor life, and no one tries to go out. So we're happy with the indoor-only concept, but we still worry about if anyone were to get out.

The reason why?

Prior to Neptune's disappearance and police involvement for Milo's case, we'd witnessed our one neighbor take off the collars and ID tags of ALL 3 cats we had allowed outdoors at the time, it was getting to the point that my parents were replacing collars and tags every few days-they tried calling them "strays" (even after they acted really friendly when they saw Neptune and Milo following me on a walk, and asked who's cats those were, when I told them they were brothers and they were both ours) and had mentioned in passing that their granddaughter was really fond of our orange one. They then tried to take Milo in 2005 before Halloween (he went missing for almost 4 months, and on one of my walks I took almost daily up our street, I saw him lying in a field of grass and called him, and he turned and "chirped" at me, and came running at me full sprint and when I sat to pet him he lunged and licked my face like a dog-and that's when I explained to the neighbors that he is our cat), so we brought him in for winter when they continued to make attempts to lure him in their house with canned food, and then Neptune was taken on Halloween (we suspect them but don't have proof-who was supposed to be inside that night anyway, so I don't know why he was even out), and then, the day before Christmas, Magick (our only other cat allowed outside then besides those two) went missing and came back the very day after Christmas, with his collar cut off (there was a cut on his neck like someone had done while in the process of cutting his collar off with a knife or really sharp scissors), was horrified of people after that (I'm now basically the only person he trusts) and smelling of shampoo. So someone had stolen him, bathed him, and taken his collar off and planned to keep him, as a Christmas gift, maybe? Without a doubt I know that it was the same people, they're the only neighbors I know that had been eying our cats like they were made of diamonds, and snobby enough to take off someone's collar and try to replace it with their own (which is illegal), hoping to keep our cat they wrongfully stole, and then I know he must have gotten out or they realized they couldn't handle him and let him back out. The worst part about all of this? We found out that this neighbor happened to be an "important" member of our city's council and had a lot of authority in town. But that didn't stop us from legally pursuing getting our family members back. Just because they see our pets and find them friendly doesn't make them public property, their our kids, not wild animals.

So, needless to say, Magick's been indoor-only ever since. However, my parents had made me let Milo back to his indoor-outdoor lifestyle the following summer (2006) because People don't usually care if the cat they see wandering through their yard has a family. If they are cute and like people, people tend to take them.

Then in 2010, Milo (by then he was our only cat still allowed outside, because Magick was converted to indoors, Neptune had been missing, and everyone else has always been inside and they'll stay that way) went missing again, over a weekend in summer. I was worried, but everyone said not to panic because it had only been a day or two. But I immediately suspected the neighbors, anyway. Then one of our older indoor cats had gotten a UTI so I called the vets and they had me come in immediately that same day. And when we got there, guess who was sitting in the vets office with our cat, bragging about they'd "rescued a stray" and how it took them 2 weeks to catch our pet cat? Yeah, the same neighbors. They then went on to say how hard he is to handle and how he 'chose' them, even though they had to use a live trap to catch our domesticated pet. It became apparent to them, too, he belonged with us, when our town's sheriff came up with me to ID the cat at their house, after they had tried claiming he was a feral/stray, and then that he was abused by his owners....if he was a stray/feral, then they are saying he doesn't have owners, so they stuck their own foot in their mouth. So the cops looked into the vets and came to our house and realized that their accusations weren't true and we take good care of our pets, so I got to go to their house and see our cat, and the cop would see his interactions with me and if it was him I could take him home. And I did. Milo nuzzled my face immediately when I knelt down next to the couch and called his name. We didn't have to legally pay them a penny for bringing him to the vets, because they illegally stole our pet, and had no permission to take him anywhere. But we were lucky with him, because the odds of being able to prove they took him were slim to none, and the odds of being at the same vets office the same time and day when they had him were phenomenal odds. I'm so happy we have him home. (It goes without saying that he is an indoor-only cat, too, now along with everyone else.) We were also lucky that either the people who took Magick and tried to keep him from coming home either let him out or Magick escaped and came home on his own. We haven't been so lucky with Neptune, who is still missing, maybe alive, maybe in someone else's house, we don't have any way of knowing. But we still miss him, and it's been 7 years since then. He followed me everywhere...I remember the one day he tried to follow me on the school bus. I also remember sitting on the porch reading something for school, Neptune and Milo both curled up on my lap as I read. I don't care how many pets you have, they are all precious and irreplaceable. Although I'm against having pets outdoors (all of ours that were, were not by my choice), I'm not for stealing people's pets, either, anymore than I'm for kidnapping people's kids because they're playing outside. It's just as wrong. They still belong with their family, not their kidnapper.

Here are some links to other instances where pets have been stolen by neighbors or shelters:


Protecting your pet from Theft:


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