NC woman took her cats to local humane society following Hurricane Florence. Now they won’t give them back.

A New Bern, North Carolina woman has accused her local shelter of lying about the condition her cats were brought into the shelter after she was displaced following Hurricane Florence. Their fate will be determined in court next month.

Hurricane Florence cats
The owner has to go to court to bring Butter & Trappy home (WNCT)
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Rebecca Brooks thought she was turning her cats Butter and Trappy over to Colonial Capital’s Emergency Humane Society with the understanding they would provide care until Rebecca could return for them.

Rebecca lost just about everything in Hurricane Florence and was glad Colonial Capital’s Emergency Humane Society was offering to take pets in and keep them safe.

In an interview with WNCT News, Rebecca detailed her situation at the time

“We had about a foot of water in the house, we decided we couldn’t leave the pets. The paperwork was noted that they were not being abandoned and this was a temporary situation.”

The Craven County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture were contacted and say Rebecca turned in cats who were in bad health and full of fleas. Rebecca has filed a lawsuit and will go to court next month to fight to get her cats back.

Rebecca has a former volunteer in her corner. Teri Hartley remembers seeing Butter and Trappy when they first came in. She did the intake forms that day and remembers Butter and Trappy being in good health. When Teri found out the society was keeping the cats from their owner she stopped volunteering for them and is helping Rebecca.

WNCT reached out to Colonial Capital on Thursday and have yet to hear back from them. Sheriff Hughes with the Craven County Sheriff’s Office told WNCT News the only thing she can do it to go to court.

It’s a disturbing situation when a shelter is accused of lying. Let’s hope Rebecca has the necessary paperwork and perhaps even recent veterinarian records showing the cats were healthy. It’s good she has Teri helping her since she was the one who saw them when they first arrived.

Have any of the readers ever run across a case like this one where the shelter was accused of lying about the health of a cat? I’m just curious…


3 thoughts on “NC woman took her cats to local humane society following Hurricane Florence. Now they won’t give them back.”

  1. I worry about the cats being at the shelter until court time. We all know shelters are a breeding ground for disease in a stressful environment. I think it sad that she had enough to worry about getting her home back into a livable condition and now this on top of it. This will keep people from taking their cats to emergency shelters if they fear they won’t get them back.

  2. As I read this I first thought that when you accuse an animal shelter of lying, you better have some proof because they would make it all more difficult to win custody back. Then of course being that the volunteer stepped forward to say the cats were fine and that she quit because of this gives the very good prospect that the case will go in the owner’s favor. The court has to conclude that the shelter lied and stole the cats. That’s a big conclusion to lay on them but they invited it. The court might then be compelled to investigate further the management of that shelter which is what I would do.

    Again we’re talking about North Carolina… one of the worst states to be in if you’re a cat or a dog so I’m surprised any of them care at all what happens to these cats. It must be a personal conflict; the shelter just didn’t like this woman. She’ll have to prove that somehow. If the court finds that the cats were in good condition when left there, they’ll have to conclude that. Looking forward to the outcome.

  3. On the basis that Rebecca is telling the truth (and she sounds very believable) the shelter is behaving disgracefully. I really can’t see the advantage in not returning the cats and if she wins her court case it would prove that the shelter has committed a theft. The police should then step in but they won’t.


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