I just got an email from my almost 12-year-old niece, whose cat has been missing since the beginning of January. Seems the neighbors down the road trapped the cat in an animal trap and had it picked up by the pound about three weeks ago, and yesterday sent them a note in the mail:

The number was to the pound. The cat of course had already been destroyed by that time.

That is a fucking outrage.

(thought about expounding. too irate. going for a walk now.)

Those douchebags! Yet antoher reason I don’t let my cats outside. Did the cat have id tags? If so, did the asshole neighbors remove them or did the pound just neglect to call the number on the tag?

I’d be so pissed if they had pulled that shit with me, those fuckers would be looking over their shoulders for the shit-storm I’d bring.
-thinksnow [sub]a man whose cats you do NOT fuck with[/sub]

What kind of sadistic asshole does this to a child?

I’d be paying those fucknuts a visit (but not unarmed).

An anonymous call to the game warden about the trap may be good, too :smiley:


Okay, let’s try this:

  1. The neighbors find a cat. They don’t know whose cat it is; as far as they know, it’s a stray. So they take it to the pound.

  2. Three weeks later, the neighbors discover it’s your niece’s cat – they see a flyer for a lost cat, or someone tells them how much the little neighbor girl is missing her cat, or whatever. They look at each other and say “Could that be the cat we took to the pound?” The drop a terse note in the mail indicating the cat is at the pound.

  3. The cat has been destroyed, which of course is not their fault.

I would also note that:

A. It apparently never occurred to your niece’s family to call the pound – IMO one of the first things a thinking person who lost an animal would do. And not just call them once; call them repeatedly, and ask them to call you if an animal matching the description of yours shows up.

B. Your niece let the cat out without a tag identifying her as the owner and listing a phone number, yes? If the cat had an i.d. and the neighbors didn’t call, then they’re assholes.

C. Neither your niece or her family apparently ever rang the neighbors’ doorbell and asked them if they had seen the cat. If she did and they lied and said no, again then they’re assholes.

I’ll admit the neighbors’ actions were not the epitome of “neighborliness,” but neither do I think they were “douchebags,” unless you have some other reason to believe they maliciously sent the cat to the pound, knowing it belonged to a neighbor child, and then maliciously sent the child to the pound, knowing the cat had been destroyed. I’m sorry your niece lost her cat, though; it’s very tough to lose a pet.
I just got an email from my almost 12-year-old niece, whose cat has been missing since the beginning of January. Seems the neighbors down the road trapped the cat in an animal trap and had it picked up by the pound about three weeks ago, and yesterday sent them a note in the mail:

Call [555] 555-5555

The number was to the pound. The cat of course had already been destroyed by that time.

Hum. I have to agree with Jodi. True story: about a year ago, a cat showed up on our back porch, crying to get in. It was cold and hungry, and obviously tame. No ID, no nothing. We fed it, and debated what to do. Put it back outside? It’ll probably freeze to death. Adopt it? We had two half-grown kittens at the time, and worried about the dynamic of introducing another cat into the house (plus we really wanted only two, anyway). Go door-to-door? There’s probably 150 houses within a 500-foot radius of ours, plus we live only two blocks from the freeway.

So we reluctantly brought it to the pound. We told 'em that we’d be willing to adopt the cat if there was no other alternative. The worker assured us that, if no one claimed it, it’d probably be adopted right away (it was affectionate, short-haired, and had a pretty coloration. Plus, few cats come to the pound this time of year), and they have a policy of not destroying adoptable cats. So we felt we’d done the best thing we could do.

So. Am I an asshole?

I realize the circumstances of my story are different than those of your niece, AHunter3, but it seems like some additional context is required before assigning blame.

I should clarify that I’m not defending the neighbors. They may be world-class jerks, elected King and Queen of the Jerk Prom. I’m just saying that we don’t know enough from the OP to decide that.

And I really do sympathize with the kid. People who think it’s no problem to lose a pet have never really had one.

I’ve got to disgree with Jodi and come down on the “douchebag” side.

A. What the hell are they doing with animal traps in a neighborhood to begin with?

B. Cats hate collars. Really hate them. Every cat I have ever had has managed to get out of his collar within 1 day of having it on, no matter how many I buy and make them wear. So sometimes, despite an owner’s best intentions, IDing your animal isn’t feasible.

C. Yes, calling and/or going to the Pound would have been something I would have done after a few days. I say a few days because sometimes cats just decide to go for a walkabout for a little while, and then come home to eat. It happens. However, the good people at the Pound aren’t always able to tell you if they have your animal (especially if said animal has no collar). The Pound tends to keep relatively short hours, and it’s not always possible for a 12 year old to get there during the times it’s open.

D. Any obviously tame cat you find in yout neighborhood is probably owned by someone (hence “tame”). Unless the animal is stick-thin, sick, or otherwise in distress, chances are it knows where it lives and simply has its own agenda about getting back. There’s no reason to risk the death of your neighbor’s pet because you’re not sure what to do with it. Feed it if you must (although that may just encourage it to hang around), but the best thing is probably to let it run.

I’m with Jodi, in that I think that it wasn’t QUITE the neighbor’s fault…(although they were rather curt and animal traps? Da hell?)
But, here’s the thing-contrary to popular belief, cats ARE NOT OUTSIDE CREATURES! They roam far too much, get hit by cars, get in fights with other animals, get bit up, scratched and are generally less healthy.

And so WHAT if the cat hates the collar? Then that cat shouldn’t be outside in the first place!

Of course, I feel for your niece. I really truly do. But, why didn’t her parents either get the cat an id tag, or keep it inside?

Trust me, cats are NOT missing out being kept in the house.

i dont let my cat outside, but since he occasionally escapes anyway, he’s got a tattoo in his ear. cats can also get a microchip in their ear. and some cats dont get hit by cars. my friend had a cat who actually looked both ways before crossing the street. he got into fights and everything, hunted birds and mice. he had a territory of a couple blocks that he just patrolled around. he was a perfectly adapted outdoor urban cat. then he got poisoned with antifreeze and died, probably cuz some shithead couldnt stand the thought of cat poo in their flower garden.

i have the feeling i was going somewhere else with this, but i think i’ll end it now…

My niece had posters up all over about the cat, and it is in a suburban cul-de-sac. She also covered the territory going door to door asking if anyone had seen it. Possible nevertheless, I suppose, that the neighbor hadn’t seen the posters until 3 weeks after having had the pound pick up the cat they trapped.

The cat had a collar with a rabies tag on it (required) and would not have looked the same as an uncared-for stray cat. And people in the suburbs (Georgia) tend to have “indoor-outdoor” cats and to let them roam, it’s the norm.

“But, here’s the thing-contrary to popular belief, cats ARE NOT OUTSIDE CREATURES! They roam far too much, get hit by cars, get in fights with other animals, get bit up, scratched and are generally less healthy.”

HA! Tell that to my uncles farm cats. They live outdoors almost all their lives.

We’re not talking about farm cats on a big isolated piece of land in the country. And for that matter, my mother used to let her cats outside. Two of them were shot. One died, and the second one ended up living with a pin in her hip the rest of her life.

That said, AHunter3, I DO think they could have taken the cat to the vet’s, which is what my dog’s tag says-it has her rabies vaccine on it.
THAT is where I would take a found animal, not a pound.

(It does sound like they were pricks. But just the same, I’d definitely reccomend keeping a cat inside. )

Have to disagree Guin, I have two cats. They cannot stand being indoors. They go crazy and start injuring themselves and each other. This winter has been bad at home so my family has been keeping them inside. (“No, sweetie, there’s four feet of snow on the ground and its raining ice, you don’t want out…”)

We have had monthy trips to the vet for major injuries. The most recent being Will biting through Bernard’s ear. We could have added a gold hoop. Other cabin fever fights have resulted in Will’s eye socket getting punctured, a leg wound, and coats’ full of cuts and scratches.

Some cats may be able to stand being indoors, but I know of two pristine examples of ones that do miss it.

Microchip it. Peace of mind is surprisingly inexpensive.


Well, my assumption is that they were having trouble with animals. Y’know, rodents or foxes or maybe even stray cats. That’s generally why people trap and remove animals from their yard. And this was obviously a live animal trap, or the cat would never have made it to the pound.

I’m sorry, but if you cannot or will not I.D. your pets, then you shouldn’t let them outside. If you do, you run the risk that they will be lost/hurt/stolen/killed and you will have no way to track them down. Every cat I’ve ever owned (which, granted, have been few) have either worn collars from early kitten-hood or been strictly indoor cats.

I don’t buy this. If I have a 12 year old that has lost her pet, it is also my business, as her parent, to assist her in finding it. That includes called the pound repeatedly; asking them to call me if any similar animal comes in; and making sure that I contact them during their business hours, either with the 12 year old in tow or on her behalf.

So? If you are irresponsible enough to let your cat out without a collar, and then don’t bother to look for it for “a few days,” how can you place on your neighbors the responsibility of caring for the animal or pounding the pavement to find out who owns it? I would be disinclined to do so with a collarless animal myself, since failing to tag a pet indicates at the very least carelessness. If you don’t care for or about your own pet, why should I?

I absolutely, emphatically disagree with this. Loose cats get hit by cars, attacked by other cats, lost, and stolen. I think it is far more irresponsible to just turn a stray animal loose than to take it to the pound. Besides which, I think we can assume that the neighbors were having animal troubles just from the fact they had animal traps. What good would just turning the animal loose again do?

This I don’t understand. In my jurisdiction, rabies tags have the name of the issuing veterinarian right on them. The pound then calls the vet and they can look up who owns the animal. I have done this myself on two occasions with lost animals. Why would the pound have put the cat to sleep instead of calling the vet?

All right, Jodi, good points all. I would like to clarify some of the things I said (although I will also concede that I was wrong on a couple).

As far as live animal traps go, my only experience with them has been for indoor use, and in my off-the-cuff post, I didn’t think of a good outdoor reason, althogh considering that my first cat died of mole poisoning, I probably should have.

IDing: I didn’t know microchips were available. Seriously. It’s been awhile since I have had an outdoor cat (because of the mole poisoning), and this is the first I have heard of it. My point was that collaring and tagging is harder than it should be. We used to put the collar on Shadow at least weekly, as tight as we could without choking him, and within a few days, he’d come home without it. So, I can understand a cat wandering around without at collar. It doesn’t scream negligence to me.

OK, good. Not all parents would do the same, more’s the pity. I certainly hope they would, but that’s not always the case, and the longer I’ve been around, the more cynical I’ve become. Certainly, I would hope her parents took those steps. It’s possible they wouldn’t/couldn’t. At the time I made my initial post, AHunter3 hadn’t given us any more details.

Regarding loose cats without collars, and what’s appropriate for someone who finds one to do: You and I disagree. A cat which is not in distress (starving, sick, injured, filthy), and seems tame, is likely owned by someone. If they are not ID’d, it could be that there are other people out there who also didn’t know about microchipping (new word!) them, or whose cat wriggles out of its collar while outside. And also, there are lots of indoor/outdoor cats. It’s common and not necessarily a bad thing. The cats certainly love it, anyway. If the cat is healthy, it’s cared for. If it’s cared for, why take it to the Pound? Or am I just far to laissez faire?

And lastly, I would certainly look for and call for a cat well before a few days had passed. What I meant was that when you have a cat you know to be of the walkabout persuasion, it doesn’t get truly worrisome until a few days have passed.

I think we’re getting away from the story here.

IMO, it boils down like this:

  1. They have an animal trap in their yard.

  2. In this trap, they did catch a cat.

  3. Said cat has now been destroyed by the vet.

  4. The cat did have tags, which were ignored.

  5. There were signs posted all over the neighborhood, which were ignored (yeah, they responded eventually, but I’m just not buying that they failed to notice the signs when they had just trapped a cat in their yard, but then somehow spotted the signs later on and said “hey, remember that cat we sent to the pound last month? Maybe it has something to do with this sign I’ve been walking past over and over again”).

  6. The cat owner did go door-to-door asking if the cat had been found, at which point the people who “found” the cat did NOT provide any information about what had happened.

  7. There was a note sent by mail, so at some point, they knew EXACTLY whose cat they had.

The above suggests, to me at least, that these people caught this cat, sent it right to the pound without so much as the slightest effort to notify the owner, then pretended not to know anything about it until weeks after the fact (jerks).

Maybe I’m mistaken… I doubt it tho.


I hope you know I’m not pickin’ on you. :slight_smile: I understand you point, and fully admit I might fall into the “take the animal to the Pound too quickly” category. But the last cat I owned was hit by a car, and I’d far rather have had him sent to the pound than let go (assuming anyone found him and then let him go, which I don’t know). And I live on a fairly busy street, so in my particular situation (which I realize is not universal), letting pets just run free strikes me as a bit irresponsible. And I didn’t know about that micro-chipping deal, either.


I hope you see that, despite your assertion that you’re “not buying it,” we have been told nothing that gives us any reason to believe the neighbors (a) saw the flier before they alerted the owners or (b) ever had their door knocked on an then lied about whether or not they’d seen the cat.

Again, I’m not saying they weren’t jerks, I’m just saying I don’t think we can know. I do think this is a great example of why it’s a good idea to know your neighbors and communicate with them in person. Drop off some terse little note and they might (rightly or wrongly) decide you’re an asshole.

[sub]As I write this, one of my kittens is stretched out beside me, and she is collared[/sub]

Okay, so the cat was collard/id-ed, there were fliers and they did go door to door. The neighbors were douchebags.

I understand live-traps, my parents have them for 'coons and groundhogs/gophers (burrowing little buggers), but if you catch a marked domestic animal in a neighborhood, wouldn’t you tend to think someone in the near proximity was the owner? I would have to imagine that anyone that ever had a pet would have the consideration to ask around.