Cat 'Rescue' Turns into Lawsuit

PetMD Editorial
Updated: January 30, 2018
Published: November 01, 2012
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By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

There are too many homeless pets in need of homes, that is a given, but some rescues and shelters may be going too far in making sure their wards get to good homes.

The latest example of this comes from Tales from the Bark Side.

The story began four years ago when Gene and Nancy Whipple of Lake County, Il., adopted from a rescue named Save-A-Pet Inc.; a black cat they named Newman.

The Whipples signed the rescue’s agreement that Newman would remain indoors — and by their account, they kept that promise — except when the slippery feline would skirt out of an open door, as cats sometimes do.

Fast forward nearly four years later when the Whipples decided to give another homeless cat a "furever" family.

They went back to Save-A-Pet, filled out the application and spoke with the counselor. According to the couple, the "interrogation" (as they termed it) ground to a halt when the counselor asked a "trick question": whether the cat would be an outdoor cat. "If our cat gets out, we make sure he gets safely back inside."

At that point, they were denied the adoption. They were given even more shocking news the next day when they called hoping to speak to a supervisor.

They were told the rescue wanted Newman back.

They did not give Newman back, and they heard no more from the rescue until nine months later, when the Whipples said the rescue stalked their property and waited to pounce on a contract violation. Newman inadvertently got out through a door and someone from Save-A-Pet nabbed him, took him to the rescue, and placed him in quarantine.

The Whipples immediately filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction before the rescue could re-adopt their fur kid. They ultimately spent $2,000 in legal fees and postponed an overseas trip to get their beloved cat back.

Good rescuers admit that these types of rescues exist and that it gives all rescues a bad reputation, and perhaps accounts for the reason that a lot of people who want a pet in this country still shop rather than adopt.


Have you ever had a good or bad experience with adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue? Please share in the comment section below.

Image: (Not Newman the cat) Hope Abrams / via Flickr

News Source
Tales From the Bark Side