HomeHuman to cat relationshipownershipHere’s why a New York shelter allowed another person to keep a rescued cat when the former owner came forward


Here’s why a New York shelter allowed another person to keep a rescued cat when the former owner came forward — 5 Comments

  1. When I adopted Mercy she had been taken back by the original people who adopted her and I asked more than one question about the possibility of them deciding they wanted her back. Remember I took her before hours after they brought her back. We formed a bond right there at the shelter that was even stronger in the first three days.
    Adoption of a pet especially from a high kill shelter is emotional. You have to walk away from a hundred little faces you know are going to the dump.
    Shelters do not have the staff or time to sort through hundreds of pictures of missing pets. After the hold they become the property of the shelter and are either adopted out or euthanized. Lucky for this cat it made it out of the shelter alive with a family and most likely a chip listing the new owners.
    Chip your pets. If they had a chip with correct information they might have recourse.

  2. I understand this argument, but think what it would be like if people who adopted a shelter cat could not feel secure that the new cat was really theirs. I’m sure it would make adoption from shelters much less attractive. There has to be a cutoff point — turning up two months later and expecting the cat to be returned may be unrealistic. The humane society may have handled it badly but they had to protect the integrity of their adoption process. Not sure without more details, but hiring a lawyer might have helped the former owner — at least they wouldn’t have been completely stonewalled.
    Notice that I said “former owner” — interesting that despite the growing acceptance of animal rights, the notion of animals as property is still alive and well. Shelter and rescue law are a hot (though not lucrative!) new legal field, but many of the current issues still revolve around the problem of transfer of ownership.

  3. I’m glad that the cat is, seemingly, okay, but the family who lost the cat must feel gutted. I would. It’d be like losing the cat all over again. I’d be beyond devastated. I’d post about it on Facebook and make it go viral and hope that the new owners saw it and came forward.

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