Pet dispute: Girl wants lost cat back. Woman says ‘no’

In the world of pets, is “finders keepers” an acceptable rule?

Courtney Amos, a Mayo High School senior in Rochester, doesn’t believe so but the people who found her cat of 11 years — Whiskers — disagree.

Amos saw a picture of the pet she lost last year on a pet-rescue website, but when she asked if Whiskers could be returned, the woman who found the cat said “no.” The cat was now going by “Simon,” the Rochester Post Bulletin says.

When Amos asked, through a Camp Companion intermediary, whether the adoptive Rochester woman would return her cat, the woman said no.

Amos said she hasn’t given up trying to get Whiskers back, having even gone so far as to engage an attorney for advice. Even though she owns three cats and a bunny, Whiskers was special, she said. She not only trained and cared for Whiskers, the pet was a gift from and link to her dad, who committed suicide three years ago.

She said that Whiskers had an uncanny ability to sense a person’s feelings. When Amos felt sad or had been crying, the cat would sidle up to her and lay on her to comfort her.

The law in Minnesota is not on Whiskers’ side.

“It does happen sometimes,” Lisa Kelley, a Rochester Animal Control officer, said of the dispute. “The best we can do is call the adoptive family and see if they want to give it back. If they don’t want to give it back, they’ve adopted it legally. They don’t have to give it back.”

It’s a messy dispute in which the organization that trapped and eventually gave away Whiskers — Simon — disputes part of young Courtney’s story, according to the Post Bulletin.

Amos said she visited shelters and humane societies and tried to put up posters, but the weather was cold and the signs would fall off. She said she also contacted Camp Companion, but was told that there was no cat matching Whiskers’ description and was never told to fill out a lost animal form.

However, Quandt disputes that. She said there was no call from Amos in those four months, because if there had been, she would have asked her to fill out the lost animal form and provide a picture. There is no other way Camp Companion is able to match owners with their lost pets.

“We have so many calls every day,” she said. “Why would we just keep that in our head? We wouldn’t do that.”

Amos says she’s glad the cat is still alive, and she adequately frames the dispute.

“It’s like the moral thing,” she says.

More cats: A veterinarian father, a cop son and a cat in need (Pioneer Press).