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Shelter took my kitten
Old 06-09-2019, 10:12 PM
  #1

I'm posting as a guest as I'll most likely be sharing my situation with my coworkers & would like to keep my username private.

I adopted a kitten from a shelter about a week ago, took her back to the shelter on Friday to get her shots. I live about 45 minutes from the shelter & on the way back home the young lady I help care for got sick. She has severe autism & is considered nonverbal. So we stopped at the closest Walmart to purchase a change of clothes & get her cleaned up. I asked the greeter if I could bring the kitten with me since she was in a carrier. Nope. Only service animals. I was afraid of that & it was way too hot to leave her in the car. I considered leaving the car running with the air on, but it's not the safest area. So I was very relieved to see a homeless "friend" that I've helped off & on for the past few years. I've even allowed him to stay on my enclosed back porch when the weather was pretty extreme & he was great with my cats. I gave him $10 to watch my kitty while I was in the store. It took about an hour, I didn't rush as I thought everything was fine.. The cat had food/water, in a shaded area, inside a pet carrier with someone I know relatively well watching her. When I get back to my car I see I've missed a call from the shelter. I call back assuming they forgot to tell me something when I was there earlier. Imagine my surprise when the worker tells me another worker saw the cat with someone collecting donations & she brought her back to the shelter. I started to explain the situation when she cuts me off saying they're about to close. So I ask if I should just pick her up in the morning, she tells me I should probably call first. I went to talk to my friend to get the details of what happened. He apologized saying she threatened to call the police & animal control if she didn't give him the cat even though he told her he was just watching it while I was in the store. She told him I'd be able to come & get my cat back or a refund of the adoption fee though. When I called yesterday there was no answer so I decided just to go ahead & drive there. The lady at the desk wanted to know "what was going on" so I explained the situation. She tells me to have a seat and she'd be back. I thought she was going go get the kitten, but no.. A guy comes out and asks me to follow him to a private room where he informs me the director has decided not to return the cat to me, but that they'll refund the adoption fee. He said I could try to call to talk to her on Monday but that she's very busy and may not have time. I talked to the police to see if anything could be done, but the lady the officer called lied and said I broke the terms of the contract. There was nothing in the contract about not allowing someone to watch the cat, only that I wouldn't give her away or sell her. Sorry for the long post, my cats are like my family. I may not have had her long, but I love her as if she were my own child. I really can't afford a lawyer & I don't know what my options are. Any advice/opinions? Thank you to everyone that took the time to read all of this!


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Old 06-10-2019, 01:53 AM
  #2

After all the trouble you went through to correct their misconceptions I'd be more worried about the rest of the animals left in their care. I get that it can be a thankless and heartbreaking job. As a teacher you are familiar with just how idiotic and stupidly members of the public can act. You are not one of those people. You don't need a lawyer, you need to inform them that you are ready to go to your local news outlets. Do they really want the public to know just how poorly you were treated despite being informed of not only wanting to give a forever home to a kitten but how you care for other people? Your story is one a local reporter would love to share. If the administration at the shelter has any good sense at all he won't want that kind of publicity.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:01 AM
  #3

What a wonderful human being you are. Good luck.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:07 AM
  #4

I am furious for you. I would keep calling or going there until I was able to speak to the director and I would not stop until I did.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:33 AM
  #5

Iíd do exactly what retiredkat said to do.. thatís ridiculous. You were being responsible... Iíd love to know what worker took the cat.

Keep going to the shelter. Meet with the director. Email and call the local paper.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.


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In addition...
Old 06-10-2019, 07:19 AM
  #6

I assume you have already established yourself with a local vet. Your vet could write a brief letter recommending you as a highly responsible pet owner. It couldn't hurt if the vet states that if he/she comes back in another lifetime as a cat the perfect home would be yours.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:53 AM
  #7

Call back Monday. Try diplomacy. If that doesnít work, then explain that the option is to make time to discuss things with you like a reasonable adult or discuss it with the media.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:15 AM
  #8

I feel like this is a thing you could easily spin into showing that the shelter is biased against homeless people since they automatically assumed he was lying and threatened him with the police. Would they have done that if he weren't homeless? Would they have even stopped to check on the kitten if he weren't homeless?

I totally understand being that attached after just a week, and I'm angry for you that they're being this unreasonable. I would totally take this to the media after one more attempt to talk to the director.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:44 AM
  #9

I have found some shelters to be very picky, do home visits, rechecks, etc. My sister that lives in the country has always had multiple dogs, cats, a goat, a turtle, etc. was recently turned away from a shelter for a dog adoption because they called her vet. The vet gave her a glowing recommendation. She has gone to that vet for decades and they have been to her home on numerous occasions. However, when they reviewed the records the vet sent they saw that she had recently stopped vaccinations on her 17 yr olds cat. She tried to talk to them, the vet tried to talk to them, telling them the cat was old and not well and they were letting nature take its course but they refused to budge. I would imagine that the shelter rep that happened upon your kitty felt that you were leaving it with a random, homeless person and that you were not responsible. Some shelters feel that if you would not leave your child with that person, you should not leave your pet either. Iím sorry this happened to you. Hopefully, you have another place to get another kitty. I doubt that this shelter will change their policy.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:12 PM
  #10

My local humane society does a background check that includes recommendations from at least one vet. It puzzles me as to why a shelter would require medical records. I understand the need for steep adoption fees as well as the background check but the actual records seems intrusive to me. But maybe I'm just extending my privacy rights to my pets.


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Old 06-10-2019, 02:43 PM
  #11

Iím sorry this happened to you.

Was this a rescue organization? I agree with Teach5 that some places are very ďpickyĒ and screen very carefully, with the goal to ensure the pet and you are a great fit. Not sure, but I think rescues give the potential owner more scrutiny than a shelter might.

I am reminded of the Ellen Degeneres dog adoption fiasco. She adopted a dog through a rescue but gave the dog to her hairdresser when the dog didnít get along with her cats. The rescue lady found out and took back the dog. Turns out the contract stated Ellen was to give back the dog to the rescue org if it didnít work out for Ellen. The rescue said if the hairdresser wanted to adopt it, she would need to go through the application process as Ellen did. I donít know if the hairdresser ever tried, I donít think so, though. The dog never did go to either Ellen or the hairdresser. Yes, very strict rules for some groups.

Maybe they thought you gave the cat to the person who was watching it for you. I disagree with taking this to the media, at least not until speaking directly with the director or whoever is in charge there for a definitive explanation from their end, and for you to explain your side. I thought it was really wrong of Ellen to go on her show, crying over the incident and demonizing the rescue organization. As a result, the rescue lady had people hurting her business by congregating in front of her pet supply store to protest and others gave her death threats. She couldnít even go out, it was so bad. Yes, everyone loves Ellen and felt so bad for her, but in this case Ellen was in the wrong by giving the dog away. So, Iíd be careful with taking it to the media because of what I remember about this case.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:04 PM
  #12

After your explanation they still didn't understand? There are so many animals that need homes. You sound very responsible and was in a difficult situation. I would say the shelter needs to bend a bit.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:27 PM
  #13

I agree with going to the media about this! Try once more and if they refuse tell them you are contacting such and such local TV network, the newspaper, or whatever the case may be. That often does produce results.

I am so sorry for what happened.


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Old 06-10-2019, 05:35 PM
  #14

I am so sorry this happened to you. It is such an unfortunate misunderstanding. I hope the shelter reconsiders and you get your kitten back.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:53 AM
  #15

They didnít request all of the vet records just a list of pets and their vaccinations. It is intrusive. The good recommendation from the vet should have been enough.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:11 AM
  #16

Quote:
So, Iíd be careful with taking it to the media because of what I remember about this case.
This is different if the OP is telling the truth because she did not break the contract.
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