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Tue, Nov 27 | By Matt Van Hoven | 525

OREGON – A Portland, Oregon cat is in the middle of a custody battle between its original owner and a couple who paid for the cat's veterinary treatment. Donnella Whitacre's four year-old cat, Merlin, likes to wander outside. So whe… more ›

Cat Caught In Custody Battle
311 results

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Swayloveswasabi34
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Swayloveswasabi34
5 years ago

King Solomon would say to cut the cat in half..... and see which owner protest... lol
as a kid I use to think the Bible story was horrible, but I see what he was saying.
NO don't cut anything in half ,well maybe a candy bar!

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Katie M.
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Katie M.
5 years ago

They had no right to take her cat.

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Norrie
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Norrie
5 years ago

As this happened 18 mo ago, I'm curious as to the outcome. The welfare of the cat is most important but I wonder if the cat stealers actually spent so much on that cat.

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Ann P.
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Ann P.
5 years ago

silly humans

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Amber A.
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Amber A.
5 years ago

if she loves the cat why is it outside?

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Laura  J.
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Laura J.
5 years ago

How can a cat that you let wander and neglect their medical needs be considered a member of the family?

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HUMANE SOCIETY O.
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HUMANE SOCIETY O.
5 years ago

We had a lady call us the other day with the same type of situation. It's hard to decide who is right and wrong in some of these situations.

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Norrie
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Norrie
5 years ago

Unless the couple had an agreement to take the cat to the vet and be reinbursed for vet bills, they need to give Merlin back. Sounds like stealing plain and simple to me.

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Themsdad
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Themsdad
5 years ago

Cat should have been kept inside and this woldn't be a problem

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ThrillPants
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ThrillPants
5 years ago

I agree with the others who have questioned the details. To have an agreement to let the neighbor's see your cat? Weird. Once the neighbors started acting sketchy, I would have kept my cat inside.

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ArthurCurtis
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ArthurCurtis
5 years ago

There definitely HAS to be more to this story. If true, as reported, the owner and caretaker may end up in a battle reminescent of the Katrina Dogs that were court ordered back to their original owners, even after it was proven the animal's previous care was questionnable .

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Jennifer H.
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Jennifer H.
5 years ago

not a very clear story or case - would like to know more before commenting

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Renee  M.
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Renee M.
5 years ago

Huh, sounds like there is more to this story.

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sandy h.
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sandy h.
5 years ago

Seems like there must be more to this story than they are saying??

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Mattbstl30
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Mattbstl30
5 years ago

something I never thought about

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EddieWayne
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EddieWayne
5 years ago

Wonder if the original owner wasn't taking good care of this cat? Cats will leave if they are not getting food and attention.

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Jbobstep
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Jbobstep
5 years ago

There are times when the cat picks its owner.

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Edward Robin
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Edward Robin
5 years ago

Wow. This indeed is strange. Any updates to the story?

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Melanie
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Melanie
5 years ago

Sounds like the animal wasn't being cared for by its first owner..and thank goodness someone jumped in and took over. The first owner should be ashamed.

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Jackie L.
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Jackie L.
5 years ago

This seems strange. Did this woman ignore the pets health and that's why the other family took it? I don't think we have all the facts on this story.

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deb a.
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deb a.
5 years ago

I wonder if the whole story is here, keep the cat in the house and this would not happen, in our rural area all of us have a number of cats that wander from home to home we all feed take turn with vets and they are a community pet

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Rynn
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Rynn
5 years ago

Keep your cat inside, and there won't be a problem.

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Jello1
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Jello1
5 years ago

We had a similar situation--one neighbor would let their cat wander, and he would come to see us. He would also tear open another neighbor's garbage cans--so that neighbor was accusing us of having the wild cat. Eventually he got sick so we took him to the vet. And then it got really cold and he was still outside, so we took him in and converted him to an indoor cat. The original owners knew we had him, but never seemed to care. And it got the accusatory neighbor off our backs about the garbage

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Rhonda T.
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Rhonda T.
5 years ago

I think there is some information missing. If the neighbor knew it belonged to someone else, they should have talked to them about taking it to the vet. Just because they pay the vet doesn't mean the cat belongs to them. I wonder if the owners were taking care of the animal properly. Confusing!

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Janet
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Janet
5 years ago

I don't think we know all of the facts on this one.

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Marisa M.
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Marisa M.
5 years ago

So--what ever happened??

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Elgatosinnombre
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Elgatosinnombre
5 years ago

Something fishy here

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Dorothy H.
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Dorothy H.
5 years ago

I agree with all the other comments made, but one thing strikes me. "Put a lien on the animal..." I have heard of putting a lien on a house or car, but an animal?????

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LilyK
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LilyK
5 years ago

If you love the cat, why did you let it wander about outside? That is very dangerous for the animal and doesn't demonstrate a lot of the "love" claimed. Not that the other people are right. Heck, no one comes off good in this story. Put the cat up for adoption in an undisclosed location. No one involved deserves to be the critter's caretaker.

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Abegail
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Abegail
5 years ago

really nice. adults fighting over a cat.

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Melody L.
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Melody L.
5 years ago

Why would you take in a cat that you know belongs to someone else? Something is strange with this.

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Missy M.
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Missy M.
5 years ago

I thought this would have been about a divorce.

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SJL78
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SJL78
5 years ago

took the words right out of my mouth.

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John H.
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John H.
5 years ago

Something is fishy about this story.

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InZeee
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InZeee
6 years ago

I'll say it's strange but true. I often wonder how many shots and treats and food these stray cats get. There is a lot of people who feed the strays. My cats are all indoor cats so that is first point, don't let you cat out if you don't want someone to steal it. Second point if the other couple who paid the medical bills knew it was her cat why would they of paid the medical bills. I could see if they didn't know the cat had an owner but by the sound of it they knew. Sounds like there is more to this story than what meets the eye.

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daryl b.
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daryl b.
6 years ago

i once had a cat stolen from my barn and the woman stole her took her home and had her spayed. i searched for her and took her back and the woman wxpected me to pay the bill. i refused telling her she STOLE my cat and i would charge her if she ever came on the property again

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JenniferMaurer
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JenniferMaurer
6 years ago

This is confusing! I would never give Simone to a neighbor even temporarily. when I read the title of this article I thought it was about a couple going through a divorce and who gets custody of the animal. Which poses the question . . what happens in cases like that?

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Diane
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Diane
6 years ago

I thought it was a couple, too.

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Carol L.
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Carol L.
6 years ago

I would like to know why the original owner did not try to get the cat back sooner. It the other couple did indeed kidnap the cat you would think all the original owner would have to go is file a complaint. I don't know why anyone would spend thousands of dollars on someone else s cat unless the cat were ill or in distress .
The original owner gave up her rights to the cat as far as I am concerned when she did not immediately seek getting the cat back. Confusing a bit to me -

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Diane
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Diane
6 years ago

I m a bit confused because Jack was left on the street ~ Amost three months ago ~ & I feel he is mine. Yet, if someone was watching my babies & wanted to keep them that is stealing. I had this almost happen & called the cops.

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Stephanie W.
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Stephanie W.
6 years ago

First of all if you really care about the cat you will keep it in the house or atleast know where the whereabouts of the animal are. My dad has a male cat eventhough he wonders around outside he always comes home because he is fixed. If she really care she shouldve fixed her cat and then he wouldnt have wondered off.

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Patricia  C.
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Patricia C.
6 years ago

Cats often pick their own families, especially unneutered, unspayed ones. This article didn't say if the cat in question had been fixed. Male unfixed cats wander. I had cats as a child that would wander to my neighbors who had a lot of barn cats and he finally just stayed down there. On the other hand, they had a kitten who came to my house and I took her home at least 3 times. The third time, I told them, if she came back, I was keeping her and she didn't come back anymore. She did want to be my cat, just like Corky wanted to be their cat. Cat choose their owners sometime and there is nothing you can do!

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Josiesue02
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Josiesue02
6 years ago

First of all, anyone who truly loves their pet and feels it is a member of the family would or should not let it wonder around outside. I feel that if you wouldnt let your children do it then you shouldnt let your animals do it. Second of all, this is why I have a folder for each one of my pets. I keep their adoption papers and all of their vet bills in their folders. I actually did this because when I first moved in with my boyfriend I was worried that if things didnt work out then we would be fighting over the cats and with my folders on each of them, I have proof that I paid their adoption fee and for each and every one of their vet bills (I have my credit card record as well). In a way I must say that I dont think that the original owners will get their cat back and to be quite honest, because of my belief that no animal that is thought of as part of the family should be let loose outside, I really dont think that the owners deserve their cat back.

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Womanintheshoe10
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Womanintheshoe10
6 years ago

I agree that cats should not be allowed to wander outside, there are too many dangers and of course illnesses to be caught from other outdoor cats. I wonder how long the neighbors had the cat before the original owner asked for it back. I think the owner should pay the vet bills if she wants her cat back so badly. it sounds like she was willing to let the neighbors care for it and now that it has had it's vet needs taken care of she wants it back.

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Jamie
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Jamie
6 years ago

I personally do not believe in letting your cat roam outside, there are to many dangers for them out there. But here are some questions I have about this story...how long was Merlin at the neighbors, why did he have to go to the vets, how much money was spent at the vets?

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mARY ANN M.
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mARY ANN M.
6 years ago

Cats are in danger when allowed to stray outside, and in urban areas they can be hit by vehicles, get into poisons or antifreeze or other dangerous substances in peoples yards or garages, injured by dogs. I say let the couple that took PROPER care of her keep her.

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Alex J.
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Alex J.
6 years ago

Why do people fight over animals it is like get your own

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D. Rene
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D. Rene
6 years ago

Strange story...i am not quite sure what i believe.

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Ashlee S.
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Ashlee S.
6 years ago

Why is the cat out wandering the neighborhood anyway????

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Loosey
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Loosey
6 years ago

That's what I was thinking!!

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Mary G.
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Mary G.
6 years ago

Ambiguous story. Merlin likes to visit with the neighbors and one fine day does not come home. Mrs. Whitacre MUST suspect where Merlin is, so why didn't she simply go and retrieve her cat immediately? Meanwhile, the neighbors claim to have paid hundreds of dollars in vet bills, but for what services. Was the cat ill? Was it not neutered? or did they just want him thoroughly checked out before they decided to keep him? It seems to me that one cannot unilaterally opt to just take possession of someone elses pet. But in the final analysis I think that Merlin likes the neighbors best. If he didn't, being a cat, he would have found his handsome way home again.

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Annemarie S.
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Annemarie S.
6 years ago

I don't think all the information was present in the story. If she is allowing her cat to roam the neighborhood, that may be considered property abandonment.

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Lisa B.
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Lisa B.
6 years ago

There must be more to the story. All the pieces don't fit together so well.

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Cindy M.
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Cindy M.
6 years ago

I'd say whomever has receipts for the pets care should continue keeping the cat.

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