HomeHuman to cat relationshipownershipWhen does your lost cat become someone else’s?


When does your lost cat become someone else’s? — 9 Comments

  1. The standard practice for a cat in the UK who is stray or being cared for by a new owner is to scan for a chip. If a chip is found and the previous owner’s details are out of date, some attempts are usually made to chase up the out of date details/owner. If the previous owner isn’t found, the cat is given a new chip, the details of the new chip registered to the new owner, the old registration/chip, cancelled and all is seemingly well, apart from the puss having to endure a 2nd chipping.

    I have never known the microchip database holders to re-register a chip from one owner to a new one, when it’s a case of a stray cat being found with a chip.

    In the UK, the holders of the databases (I know the Kennel Club is one of the holders) charge quite a hefty fee for changing chip/owner details. This puts quite a lot of people off changing their details, causes distress when puss inevitably goes missing, and frustration on the part of rescuers/charities when a cat is chipped, but the details are out of date.

    I can see cases like this happening in the UK. Hopefully the judges will show some common sense.

    • Thanks Everycat. I guess you are agreeing that if the microchip tells the judge who the owner is then that person is the owner. The length of time the cat was missing does not change that in my view. Neither does the fact that W looked after the cat for years.

  2. That’s why it is best to just make any stray cat permanently disappear. Everyone’s problems solved. And with luck, the criminally-irresponsible pet-owner will learn how to properly take care of a “beloved” pet with their next cat experiment in attempting to grow-up into a responsible adult. Most who “own” cats never do. They remain more irresponsible than a 5 year old, blaming the world for the deaths of their cats.

  3. I was on the fence with this, because caretaker, W, has had this gorgeous boy for, maybe, 7 years. To make a change at this point would be upsetting for David/Whiley.

    But, then, reading that W tried to alter the microchip, I had a little change of heart. I don’t like deceit.
    Yet, I have a little understanding of it too.

    But, what isn’t clear to me is if M (original caretaker) spent a full 7 years trying to find her cat. It would seem odd if she did. Something must have triggered her recent search. My guess would be that the microchip company contacted her.

    I feel for W, because she adopted in good faith and the shelter dropped the ball by not checking for a chip. Losing a wallet that has ID in it is different. Someone would, probably, look for an ID inside.

    I suggest that both women sue the shelter that was negligent in checking for a chip and share custody of David/Whiley.

    • At an emotional level it is tough for W but we have to look at it at a legal level. This is about legal title to goods! True. No more and no less. The judge should ignore the human emotional context.

      • As Tiffany Mestas is the rightful owner legally, she deserves to have her cat returned to her.

        I appreciate that during the past 7 years Therese Weczorek has grown very attached to him, but she knew when the microchip was discovered that he had an owner who cared enough to register him. Instead of trying to reunite him with his original owner, she attempted to alter the ownership information. Thank goodness microchip Companies have protocols in place to prevent that from happening without written consent from the original owner.

        I know it would be hard to give up a pet you adopted in good faith, but as a cat lover myself, I would understand how heartbroken the original owner must have been when their cat went missing. (Not to mention the sleepless nights spent imagining what awful fate might have befallen him.)

        It’s a shame that Ms Mestas has to go to court to recover her “property”. If the situation could have been resolved amicably it would have been a lot less traumatic for both ladies. Emotions are obviously running high, so who’s to say the loser in court won’t appeal the verdict?

        • How odd. You all go on at great lengths trying to tell everyone and prove to everyone how nobody should ever “own” a cat, or why you can never “own” a cat, or why “owning” a cat is impossible, and that “owning” a cat is disrespectful to the cat, etc., etc., on ad-infinauseum.

          And the very first time that your cat disappears from your own criminal neglect then you’ve got “ownership of cats” written all over the place. Then when you get upset that your cat is only worth the market-value of that cat when it is killed when you try to sue anyone for the death of your cat, because it is an owned possession. Then again you all go into an uproar how an “owned” cat is worth far more than that because you can never “own” a cat.

          Huh. Isn’t that odd. I guess “ownership” only works when things don’t go the way you’d like them to. Then you wonder why the whole world thinks that you are all clinically insane while you keep proving that that is exactly true.

          • Sorry you have this wrong again. Sigh. I am quoting the law. It does not mean I agree with it. I am simply resolving the dispute under the law. Wake up Woody.

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