This is a surprising story because it concerns nuns who are trapping and relocating cats without permission. They have made the presumption that the cats are strays by which they seem to mean that they think that the cats do not have an owner. They make this judgement because the cats do not wear collars.
In the meantime the neighbours are missing their cats. It is an extraordinary situation. You cannot, you absolutely cannot make a presumption that a cat does not have an owner just because he/she does not have a collar. That’s obvious, in point of fact. Their defence is simply unworkable and if they are found to have trapped and relocated domestic cats belonging to neighbours then they have engaged in a criminal act. That act is probably theft.
A number of cats of gone missing. This whole sorry saga is taking place in Citrus Heights in the area of Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto. The report comes from Fox 40. Citrus Heights is an area which is described as being feline friendly.
A neighbor of the nuns first noticed something was amiss when:
“And I looked through the fence to my neighbour’s yard and I see a black cat in a trap”.
The person who said this wishes is to remain anonymous. Her cat has been missing since the beginning of the month. She confronted the two nuns who were setting traps at the time.
She gathered from the nuns that the cats that were being trapped were then dumped some distance away near Interstate 80. The reason for this, the nuns said, is because they wanted to prevent the owners bringing their cats back. That in itself is enough to prosecute them for theft at the very least because it is an admission that they do not believe that the cats are ownerless strays but owned domestic cats (provided the reporting is accurate).
One neighbour said that as many as six or more cats from the area (Gallant Circle) have gone missing recently. At the moment the police cannot be sure that the missing cats are those that have been trapped so the matter is still being investigated.
My comment on this is that the underlying motivation behind this behaviour by the nuns is very typical, namely, that many people dislike neighbour’s cats coming onto their property. The nuns wanted to do something about it but as Christian people they should know better than to take the law into their own hands and commit a criminal act if it can be proved that the cats that they have trapped and dumped are owned by neighbours. The police are being nice about it and not being too hard on the nuns saying that they were “at their wits end”. Understandable but…you can’t steel someone’s property.
Nobody can of their own volition, without permission, trap and dump any cat unless the cat has no owner and is therefore feral and provided that what they’re doing cannot be classified as animal abuse under any relevant animal welfare act. It is extremely risky to do what the nuns did and is highly likely to be a criminal act although they may get away with it because they are nuns because the police are probably not that interested.