Last night, I heard a noise out in the ten below weather. I got outside, and this poor orange tabby sweetheart comes running up to me!! He’s shivering, and so I run inside and get him warmed up. Now he’s well fed, and warm on a comfy bed! He’s a total sweetheart, but I’m worried because, this poor baby is well fed; and looks somewhat healthy? But where are his parents? I’m so worried this is a case of neglect, and I wanna help this sweet angel. He’s friendly, and loves to be held!! However, he seemed like he was savoring it, like he hadn’t been held in a blanket, had some warm food, or a safe warm place to sleep peacefully? So what do I do? I’ve put him on my neighborhood app NextDoor, left my phone number out, sent out an alert to shelters, went door-to-door, and even sent out an amber alert on the poor fella! Next is seeing if he’s microchipped. My question is what if he isn’t? If someone put this sweet, sweet, beautiful fella out in 10 below, where humans can’t even be out in; what am I supposed to do? I will not take him to the pound! He can be safe here, with another cat, and puppy which he gets along with! We’d love to give this neglected guy a home? So how long do I wait, and what do I do to officially adopt the fella? Is it considered neglect leaving him out there? And if after a certain point, can he become mine, where he’ll be kept warm, loved, and taken care of?
There is no specific time when a found cat belongs to the finder. It would be neglect to put one’s cat out in freezing weather or to abandon a cat. However, a pet “parent” may argue that the animal went missing and was not intentionally put out. A person claiming ownership should have proof (otherwise anyone could simply claim an animal). If the finder refuses to give the animal to the person claiming to have lost the animal, a lawsuit for the return of the animal may be commenced and the police may be contacted (although the police may/may not intervene). Courts may consider efforts made by the person who lost an animal to locate the animal and efforts the finder made to locate the animal’s owner (contacting shelters and animal control, checking for microchip, posting signs in the area where the animal went missing, posting on relevant websites, etc.). I hope this all works out for the cat. Your actions were very humane and may have saved this cat's life!
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