Can we “rescue” our roommates cat?

////Can we “rescue” our roommates cat?

Question

So serious question. My fiance & I rented an apartment with my fiance's friend of over 20 years and the friends boyfriend. My fiance and her friend (B) talked for months about adopting a cat together. We moved in 1 month later than planned (still payed rent for the month we missed) and when we got there the roommate had already obtained a cat saying that its just "HER" cat. We got over this fast and decided to just get our own. But almost immediately, like 1 month later they started starving and completely ignoring the cat (Artemis) they havent fed her for at least 2 months as i write this, my fiance and I have kept this cat alive. There's at least a dozen empty wet food cans laying everywhere she will knock off the counter and bat around the house and my fiance or I wake up or open our door to go feed and give her some water as there door stays closed or shes just ignored for video games. I've taken pics multiple times of her rock hard/old/slimy/moldy food and a water dish that has dried hard water stains all over it and no water. She cries, LITERALLY, all day and night and they NEVER come out to see why. And the rare chance they ACTUALLY check on her, that will be the only time they have any contact with cat ever, and they then refuse to let her out of the room and you can hear her cry and scratch at their door until one of them leave and she darts into our room and either onto or under our bed. You can smell the cat box in their room from down the hall, with a closed door. Its brings a tear to my eye and makes me furious all at the same time. Our lease ends 1/31/20 We have a new place lined up and ready. I need to know, would my Fiance and I be able to "rescue" this cat and bring her with us? She has completely unintentionally become our responsibility, we've payed for food when there was none, and more importantly have grown to care for her like our own. She's not up on her shots, nor is she spayed. "B" was denied at at least 1 adoption clinic for having issues caring for the cats she's adopted in the past, and they refused her. Would my fiance and I be able to take the cat with us?? I'm genuinely terrified that if She goes with them next month it will be one of Artemis's last healthy ones. We don't like how they treat this cat and she seems to have taking a similar liking to us as well. Please let me know your thoughts!

Answer

Generally a person cannot take another person’s animal without the owner’s consent. People who believe an animal is being neglected can contact law enforcement authorities, such as the police and SPCA (society for the prevention of cruelty to animals). It is against the law to deprive an animal of necessary food. Sometimes people who neglect their animals are willing to give them away or sell them so consider that too. Sometimes people will sue if they believe their animal was wrongfully taken and sometimes they will contact the police. If a lawsuit is commenced for the return of an animal or the police are contacted, an argument can be made by the person being sued or accused of unlawfully taking the animal that an animal was gifted or abandoned and not stolen. Many more people threaten to sue than actually sue and the police do not usually get involved in pet custody disputes among roommates. In the meantime, it may be helpful to keep receipts for pet food and other expenses incurred for the cat. I hope this works out for the cat and that in the meantime the cat is provided with humane care. Best of luck!

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By |2020-02-20T15:31:33+00:00January 10th, 2020|