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Need advice about a Neglected cat

Rosemarie ChociayRosemarie Chociay Southern New JerseyMember Posts: 151 ✭✭
edited 3 July, 2010 in Laws & Legislation
My husband found a cat in front of our garage the other day. She was dirty, thin and dehydrated from the heat. We brought her in, fed her and gave her water and we kept her overnight (at this moment we still have her). We know who owns her aand we have no problem ith the owner except that this is not the only cat of hers we have had to rescue. Furthermore, it has been 24 hours since we rescued the cat and the neighbor has not even made a single attempt to search for her. We have her segregated from our two cats until we figure out what to do. We want to keep her (we just lost our cat Moo two weeks ago and feel like this cat was sent here by her), but we don't know what to do about this situation. Do we have any legal standing in this matter? We plan on talking to the neighbor tomorrow to see if she might be willing to let us keep the cat, as the cat is clearly happier here. Does anyone have any advice?


  • Nuk AnukNuk Anuk Member Posts: 846
    edited 29 June, 2010
    Can you at present get her to a veterinarian? It may be helpful to get her dirty, emaciated, dehydrated condition 'on record.' (Some states would consider the keeping of her, knowing that she "belongs" to someone else, as theft of property.) Arriving at the veterinarian with her, explaining that she wandered onto your property and you could visibly see that she needed care. (Do not have her vaccinated at this time, you don't know what vaccinations she has already had with/by her "owner) You may want to have a fecal sample tested for worms and treated. You may also want to have her tested for FeLV and FIV. Having her seen by a veterinarian gives you a 'paper trail' that could later be called into evidence as 'passive neglect' should you need to turn the cat back over to her "owner" and later call your local Humane Society or ASPCA. In addition to documenting her present condition (which you will pay for treating) you have an itemized veterinary receipt of treatments made and fees tendered. You have not done (at this point) any altering or consent requiring treatment of the cat. When you do talk with her "owner" - Explain how the cat in her dirty, thin, condition arrived on your property, you visually identified the need for care and took her to see your veterinarian. Have a copy of your copy of your veterinary itemized receipt to explain to the cat's "owner" just what care and treatment was required and kindly ask if she would like to reimburse you for the care given or if perhaps she is willing to turn over care of the cat to you. At that point, if she is willing, ask her for any prior veterinary records the cat may have,your veterinarian will want them. If she is really as unconcerned about her "missing" cat as your post reads, I doubt she'll give you much resistance.
  • Greg StawinogaGreg Stawinoga So. HollandMember Posts: 1,000
    edited 29 June, 2010
    make sure you also take pics of the kitty too, if the kitty is in this bad condition, they will help. also, call your local shelter, or police, even animal control,talk to them about this first. keep us updated.
  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 29 June, 2010
    I think Nuk's answer was brilliant. There are laws about providing proper care to pets and if you have the word of a vet that this cat is neglected you may have a better chance of keeping her. Good luck and keep us posted!
  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 29 June, 2010
    Bless you all for taking in this poor cat and caring for her. You have gotten excellent advice on how to handle the situation. Good luck and keep us posted.... The New Orleans Kitties
  • Rosemarie ChociayRosemarie Chociay Southern New JerseyMember Posts: 151 ✭✭
    edited 1 July, 2010
    Hi! I took PLENTY of pictures of her. I also bathed her and documented the dirt on the towels and in the water post bath. She had feces stuck to her tail and around her rertum, which I also documented along with the leaves and debris that I managed to comb out of her fur (there are still someclumps that were just too entangled in her fur for me to get) We have an appointment tomorrow with our vet to have her examined andtested for FLV/FIV. When my husband found her, she was laying very still on a box he had outside our garage, he thought she might be dead and that is why he went over to check on her. He saw the neighbor in our yard today chasing after her dog that was loose and did not say even one word about the cat (not even, "Have you seen my cat? She's gone missing." Nothing!) A couple of years ago we took in another cat she had (who also went missing and she never said a word!) because there was a bad ice storm and the cat was outside trying to get into our garage. As you can see, I am pretty fired up about this. We spoke to animal control for our town today and they said that even if they took the cat, it would most likely have to be euthanized after 72 hours because the shelters in our area are filled beyond capacity and aren't taking in any more strays because they literally have no more room because it is kitten season and they are overrun with pregnant cats and kittens. We even described the cat and they said that there were no reperts since we found of of a cat matching her description. I even called all the local shelters to see if a "Lost Cat" reprt was filed or if anyone came in looking for her and they said that there wee no reprts and no one came in looking for her. Same goes for all the local vet clinics. If this woman had madeeven ONE attempt to find her cat, I'd GLADLY bring her cat to her. But it is now Wednesday (we found her Sunday) and there has not been even one attempt by her to locate her cat. I am just so mad!:( Thanks all for the advice!
  • Lissa NicholsonLissa Nicholson SydneyMember Posts: 1,562
    edited 3 July, 2010
    One thing you could do if you don't want to go directly to the 'owner' is to place found cat ads in your local paper, and put some signs up, keeping copies of the newspaper and perhaps a photo of the signs with something to date them. She doesn't sound like the kind of person who would follow up on them, but if any conflict or trouble emerged, you would be able to show a genuine attempt to find the owner.
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