Custody battle ends: Bart the ‘Zombie Cat’ adopted by his foster family

This happy ending story is over a year in the making. Now Bart the ‘Zombie Cat’ has been adopted by his foster family after the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) settled his custody battle out of court. The final adoption papers were signed Wednesday at 1 p.m., with Bart’s foster family and the HSTB celebrating with champagne and cake.

Bart shortly after he came 'back from the dead'
Bart shortly after he came ‘back from the dead’
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Bart was once called Markie, until he was hit by a car then presumed dead and buried by his owner, Ellis Hutson. Bart refused to stay dead and emerged from the grave five days later. When he arrived at the TBHS, Bart was matted, dehydrated and meowing for food. Thanks to Save-A-Pet Medical Fund and over $9,000 in donations, Bart had an eye removed, his jaw wired shut and he was on a feeding tube for seven weeks. The total cost was close to $11,000. Sherry Silk CEO of HSTB describes Bart’s condition stating

“It was touch and go – he almost died. The first couple weeks the vets were giving him a 50-50 chance that he would make it. This cat had a spirit like no other and he was determined to live.”

A video of Bart with his new family can be seen below:

The decision not to allow Bart to be returned to Hutson came after Silk met with the man and learned his 2-year-old daughter was constantly trying to play with the wounded cat. She believed Bart would do better in a home where he wouldn’t be tormented by young children where he would be kept inside the home. Silk was also concerned when a video emerged that suggested Hutson and some of his neighbors knew Bart wasn’t dead when they buried him. This started the custody battle, with Hutson saying at one point that the Humane Society was trying to steal his cat.

Bart with his adopted mom Valerie (FOX News screenshot)
Bart with his adopted mom Valerie (FOX News screenshot)

Bart will be loved and cherished for the rest of his life by one of the veterinary technicians who nursed him back to health and her family. For the past year and a half, Valerie has provided him with a safe and comfortable place to heal. Now it’s official! Such a happy ending to come out of a bad situation. I wish you and your family the best.


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5 thoughts on “Custody battle ends: Bart the ‘Zombie Cat’ adopted by his foster family”

  1. The county or city where this happened should have sent the bill to the former owners. Which brings up the most useful tool to get bad pet owners to relinquish ownership. Given the choice between paying the vet bill or being let off the hook by signing the pet over is a miracle worker.

  2. Oh thank God!! I was so afraid those idiots would get him back. I hope they never own another cat.

    So glad he got to get a great furrever home!


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