Cat Snatching What are my rights?

by Ashley
(Bay City, MI)

The week of June 28th I received an anonymous letter in the mail from one person on my block to keep my cat in my own yard. I spoke to several neighbors to inquire if it was them. The person said it was upsetting the other dogs in the neighborhood. I put a rabies vaccination id collar on my cat and continued to let her outside. A week and a half later she disappeared. She was gone for 2 weeks when I thought I would never see her again. I was watching the newspaper and found an ad for a free small calico and called the number. It was my cat, I went and picked her up, very happily I might add. She was very happy too, a wonderful moment. The problem is, she was dumped someplace 5 miles away and the perpetrator had removed her collar before dropping her. Do I have any rights to try to find out who this person is? I am afraid if my cat is outside the next time that particular neighbor might get rid of my cat "permanently". Will the law think I am nothing but a big joke? If I find out who the person is, what is the next step?

Answer by Kate
how horrible for you, it must be very upsetting to know you live near someone who has no regard for you and your right to have a cat and the cats.

Unfortunately your question is about the law and I live in the Uk and so the laws are probably different where you are.

If i were you i would contact one of the big animal charities in your country and ask them for some advice. they will have probably come across similar situations before and so are better placed to help myou.

i really do hope you have the law on your side, although I muist admit how you would find out who is doing this may be quite difficult and that may be your biggest problem.

best wishes kate

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Cat Snatching
by: Mary in NC

Hello Ashley
I live in NC now but moved here from Michigan and know somewhat how the law works there.
Although you had a collar with your cats rabies tags on it, it is unfortunate that cats in the USA have very little rights if they are outdoor cats.
If you called to report this incident you'd be told that with the high numbers of outdoor cats in the state.....there is no way they can conduct an investigation without you having an eye witness who is willing to report the "cat snatcher".
Michigan has one of the highest numbers of outdoor cats in the USA and Animal Control basically puts most of their attention on dogs running loose with no tags or dogs who are deemed "dangerous".
Poor cats are basically not focused on in that state unless they have bitten someone or laying somewhere severely injured and dying.
These are sad facts but true.
I worked in rescue there for several years and have seen this happen more than once.
If you have a neighbor who is a NON-CAT person and who has dropped your cat in order to rid the neighborhood of her then your cat is always going
to be in danger of this happening again or worse such as intentional poisioning.
My advice to you is this.
Under these circumstances, as much as you may feel your cat will hate it,I would suggest you bring your little gal inside and have her as a strictly INDOOR CAT from now on.
This is for her safety and necessary.
She will at first NOT BE REAL HAPPY but she WILL adjust and she will not be in danger of being cat-napped or poisioned or mis-treated by whoever this idiot is in your neighborhood.
I know you love her dearly as I detected the concern in your words that you posted so to protect your sweet girl, it might be time to bring her inside and keep her safe from these horrible offenders.
You can count on the fact that they WILL strike again if they see she is back and this time they may use more permanent methods to rid the neighborhood of her. (which would be unfortunate)
With no eye witnesses, Animal Control will not give it a moments thought and your kitty will be cast aside as "just another missing kitty" which they have no time to investigate.
I am so happy that you was able to be re-united with your little Calico gal (you and your kitty are VERY lucky) and I hope this helps you alittle.
Thank God for pet owners like yourself,who are caring enough and love their pet enough to seek advice on the safety of their animal.

Best wishes

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