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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    2

    Exclamation Cat Stolen from My Home, Located at a Shelter, but They Refuse to Give Him Back

    My question involves animal law for the State of: New Mexico.

    A little more than a month back I was severely injured in an accident and have been on heavy pain medication that knocks me out for days at a time. By the time I came to my senses it had been over a week and my lovely 18yr old fixed male was missing. I couldn't drive, barely could walk, so I do the next best thing by calling all around the area and had my family looking for me. We posted flyers, posted in the local papers under lost pets, and called the local shelter to no avail.

    We have had a rash of these disappearances in our area but we live way out in the county so honestly we thought it was a bad case of coyotes might have been sweeping through our area. Well turns out all those calls to the local animal shelter were ignored, they have had my sweet cat this whole time along with many of the other cats from my area that are allowed to wander, we have wander laws since they are doing a service to the community by taking care of vermin. All our cats are fixed and tagged, but being ornery they do sometimes slip that collar. They have no way of checking for microchips at my local shelter, so we don't microchip simply because they can't look for them. The only way you could have gotten to my elderly cat was to literally come onto our property as he doesn't leave the house. Unfortunately I don't have proof of them being on my property other than foreign tire tracks into my front yard.

    The shelter claims I have abandoned him, which I didn't I was just ill and couldn't physically come in right away. I went in this past Friday, identified him, which the shelter says he's on meds for a cold he caught while there and wouldn't be ready to go till Sunday. I went in Sunday and they said that he's on an extended dose of meds, he's still got a runny nose and to come back Wednesday or Thursday. I understand they don't release sick animals, that's fine, but their treatment of me and my search has been horrendous. They keep implying that I "might not get him back, but I probably will." Is there anything that I can do, can take in with me, ect. that would guarantee that I get him back?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,122

    Default Re: Cat Stolen from My Home, Located at a Shelter, but They Refuse to Give Him Back

    The only way you could have gotten to my elderly cat was to literally come onto our property as he doesn't leave the house.
    so, you are saying somebody came into your house, took your cat, and you never noticed there was a stranger in your house?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cat Stolen from My Home, Located at a Shelter, but They Refuse to Give Him Back

    Unless the coyotes were getting into the house, I took her coyote reference to imply that the cat was outdoors.

    Keeping cats (which incidently are NOT part of the natural environment) outdoors exposes them to all sorts of risks - from coyotes, to cars, to good samaritans who want to give it a home, to someone who just doesn't want cats roaming around and drops it off at a local shelter. "Wander" laws are VERY specific, and if the cat was outdoors and stepped off your property, it was at risk for pickup. If you'd care to share what county or city you're in, I'll check the particular ordinance in question, but STATE statues are pretty clear about what is considered an "abandoned" animal, and DOES allow for pursuit of such animals on private property, but NOT within a home, building, or other defined curtilage.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,122

    Default Re: Cat Stolen from My Home, Located at a Shelter, but They Refuse to Give Him Back

    aardvarc;532266]Unless the coyotes were getting into the house, I took her coyote reference to imply that the cat was outdoors
    . much of what was stated suggests the cat was outdoors but when somebody tells me an animal doesn't leave the house, that is in direct contrast.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Cat Stolen from My Home, Located at a Shelter, but They Refuse to Give Him Back

    Quote Quoting aardvarc
    View Post
    Unless the coyotes were getting into the house, I took her coyote reference to imply that the cat was outdoors.

    Keeping cats (which incidently are NOT part of the natural environment) outdoors exposes them to all sorts of risks - from coyotes, to cars, to good samaritans who want to give it a home, to someone who just doesn't want cats roaming around and drops it off at a local shelter. "Wander" laws are VERY specific, and if the cat was outdoors and stepped off your property, it was at risk for pickup. If you'd care to share what county or city you're in, I'll check the particular ordinance in question, but STATE statues are pretty clear about what is considered an "abandoned" animal, and DOES allow for pursuit of such animals on private property, but NOT within a home, building, or other defined curtilage.
    I live in San Juan County, he did have tags on at the time with current information, and as he's 18yrs old he's rather feeble and would barely hobble about even if he managed to get outside. I have 7 acres of fenced property and there's almost a full acre between my home and the closest paved road. My neighbors are all family within a 2 mile radius, so none of them would have bothered him except maybe to bring him home if he did ever get out, which hasn't ever happened. I have had the local dog catcher trespass in the past going after a dog I use to have, so I know they don't care about the fences, gates, or no trespassing signs I have posted.

    Being unconscious on those pain meds made certain I wouldn't notice Godzilla come through let alone anyone else. So I honestly don't know if they came into my home or just my yard.

    We have coyotes in the area and have had animals disappear before when they are about in such high numbers as they are right now. I try to always keep my cat inside, but there has been once or twice he got out. Didn't go farther than the front stoop, but still was outside briefly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,122

    Default Re: Cat Stolen from My Home, Located at a Shelter, but They Refuse to Give Him Back

    So, you are saying the cat was in your home, the last you are aware of, and you were not in a state to be able to provide it with fresh water and food for an entire week?

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