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What can I do about an owner who abandoned their cat and now wants it back?

Q:

A neighbor where I live and work abandoned a cat and when we tried to give it back she said her cat was dead and it's not hers (she's a drug addict). Her mother came to move her out (she was sent a 3 day + 60 day notice to vacate) and thanked me for taking the cat (never said anything about taking it back). 26 days after she abandoned it she called and asked for her cat. It's now 7 weeks and she's threatening me. I told her to go to court; it's a civil matter. My boss might fire me because I won't give her the cat back without letting a judge decide. I am heartsick and worried about the welfare of this cat. I live in CA.

A:

If your neighbor sues you for the return of the cat, the judge will consider the evidence and determine who “owns” the cat now. Sometimes courts consider the best interests of the animal when determining pet custody (although one should not count on that). The court might consider evidence regarding the condition of the cat when you first took the cat, both to determine the best interests of the cat and whether the cat was abandoned. The court will likely also try to determine whether the cat was given to you on a temporary or permanent basis. I hope your boss stays out of this situation and that all works out well for the cat.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

 

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