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Bay Area cat rescue question.
June 11, 2014 8:23 AM   Subscribe

A friend in the Bay Area (Daly City) rescued an abused cat and is looking for a home for him. The cat is chipped to the abusive owner.

My friend in Daly City reports that she rescued an abused male cat -- hungry, dehydrated, respiratory infection -- from a neighbor. She reports that the neighbor owner is rage-y and that she has seen him kick the cat. She wants to find the cat a permanent home but the cat is chipped to the owner. She is concerned that the SPCA will return the cat to the owner. The cat is temporarily living with my friend. My friend has taken the cat to the vet for shots and treatment for the respiratory infection.

Any suggestions for me to pass along? I was thinking there might be small rescue orgs that don't check for chips or an individual rescue person who would "gray market" place the cat despite the chip.* Or maybe there's a protocol I can pass along.

*If you have a recommendation that is not appropriate for public posting my gmail is center.claudia@gmail.com.

I can't answer many more questions because it's not my situation. I have seen very cute pictures of the cat but can't post 'cause he is in hiding.
posted by ClaudiaCenter to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Has she already tried contacting the microchip company to try to just re-register the cat under her own name? I've re-registered a cat with a 24PetWatch chip with no problem (it didn't require any interaction with the previous registrant).

The vet who scanned the chip might be able to tell what company the cat's registered with, or this might help.
posted by amtho at 8:51 AM on June 11


Um... did she rescue the cat with the previous owner's knowledge?
posted by amtho at 8:51 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


So at this time your friend has technically stolen this cat, and she needs to be prepared for a very negative experience as she moves forward with this process. She honestly may need to talk to an animal advocate and get some legal advice. It's obviously wonderful that she's gotten the cat to a safe place, but now she needs to talk to someone with legal experience because there is no grey area like you and she think there is.
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:55 AM on June 11 [9 favorites]


You are right to be concerned: I took in a starving cat covered with fleas who was also microchipped -- and the SF SPCA insisted that she had to be returned to her legal owner, despite clear evidence of abuse. It broke my heart, and the SPCA vet techs agreed with me -- but their hands were tied.

Any reputable local Bay Area rescues will check the microchip because they don't want to deal with legal issues like this one. Is there any way your friend can tell the neighbor, "Hey, I'm going to find a home for this cat you don't want" and get the chip info transferred?
posted by vickyverky at 9:03 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


Does "rescue" mean "stole" in this case? Is there a reason your friend can't call animal control or animal services, or whatever it's called in your location, to report the abuse? That is the usual, legal way for the cat to enter the process of being confiscated/surrendered, fostered, and rehomed.

Also, please consider that hungry and sick isn't sufficient to suspect abuse. The kicking--that's another thing. That's what your friend should be reporting to local authorities.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 9:08 AM on June 11


I'm going to be a bit contrary here in that I don't think the idea of who 'owns' an animal is relevant if the animal is being abused.

If the cat is chipped, your best bet is to contact the chip company and have them change the registration. Chips can't be reprogrammed and they can't be removed easily. You will need access to a friendly vet or a universal scanner to find out who the chip company is and what the chip ID is.

When you have that info, you will need to find out what that company's policy is for changing registration info. Some companies will do it with a phone call. Some need a vet to co-sign. Get the registration changed to the new caretaker.

It goes without saying that if your friend is this person's neighbour they should not be the one the cat is living with, even temporarily.
posted by Jairus at 9:22 AM on June 11 [7 favorites]


I don't know whether she's still in operation, as my contact with her has been sporadic in the last couple of years but Caroline, of Bailey's Gift, which is a private shelter in East San Jose, might be a good person for your friend to contact. She is very skilled in care and rescue.
posted by janey47 at 11:00 AM on June 11


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