March 5, 2021

Shelter Sues Adopter For Letting Cat Outside and Loses

Pamela Howard, who was sued by the owner of a pet shelter for taking her adopted cat outside, ON A LEASH, will get to keep her blue eyed gorgeous kitty after spending over 3000 dollars in legal fees.

The terms of the adoption from the Odd Cat Sanctuary in Salem, MA stated the cat must be kept indoors at all times for “its own safety”.

Howard took the cat outside on a leash for five minutes, and posted a photo on Facebook — prompting adoption agency director Tara Kawcyznski to go to court, claiming breach of contract and demanding the cat be returned.

After a court battle, and a win by Howard, Kawcyznski indicated she would continue to fight it in court, but later conceded that the rescue will not pursue it any further.

Would you spend 3000 dollars to fight to keep your cat?  Did the rescue overstep it bounds? There have been other cases in the past where a shelter /rescue tried to force someone to return their adopted animal. On of the most famous was Ellen DeGeneres who gave her dog to her maid. The rescue who adopted out the dog to Ellen said it was a breach of the contract and forced the maid to give up the animal. That was years ago and the rescue is still taking heat for it today.

How far can a shelter go in dictating what happens to the animal after its adopted?  How far should they go?

Certainly there are several reasons why a cat is much better off in a life as an indoor cat, but should it be mandatory? And should a rescue have that authority?


In my opinion no shelter or rescue should have this authority, and at the very least in a case like this, the shelter/rescue should have to pay all the legal costs if they loose.  To this day, Kawcyznski has not apologized or shown any regret for putting Howard through this ordeal or indicated that there has been any change to their policy. It is not known how many other adopters have gone through this without having the money for a legal defense. Please add your comments to this discussion.


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