KNOXVILLE — A woman's beloved pet cat is still missing weeks after a shelter mix-up sent to a feral cat farm, and now it's learned the feral farm had adopted the cat out to a barn for pest control.
According to Lauren Miller with Moxley Carmichael, a mix-up at Young Williams Animal Center saw the cat sent to Rockin' Community Cats in Loudon, Tennessee.
Initially, Carrie Klapperich had to take her pet cat Janie to Young Williams for quarantine after the cat bit her mother. When she went to pick Janie up, she wasn't there.
"I don't want anyone to get in trouble, I just want my cat back," Klapperich said.
According to Nichole Boudreau, the shelter's director of operations, Janie was accidentally placed with a group of cats heading to RCC.
"There was unclear identification on the cage that this was an owned animal and we sent it out to a rescue group that adopts out cats to barns," she said. “We’re trying everything we possibly can to get this cat back to its owner.”
Miller said the RCC confirmed it had apparently adopted the cat to someone who wanted a barn cat for pest control. Miller said the RCC is respecting the privacy of that person and not releasing their name to Young Williams or the cat's owner, however it is working with the person that adopted it to try and resolve the situation.
“We are completely empathetic and apologetic to what happened and we own it 100 percent and we’re doing everything we can to reunite them," said Boudreau. “I’ve been doing animal rescue in shelters for twelve years now and I’ve never had this happen."
Another mix-up on behalf of the farm worsened the situation. Janie reportedly got loose from a shed holding the cats at the farm. The farm's owner reported he had seen the cat up in the rafters, but said at the time she hadn't been seen since.
Young Williams is trying to work with RCC to make sure workers know how Janie is typically called, what treats she likes and other helpful information that could help facilitate the cat's safe return to its owner.
"The good news is the cat’s been seen in the barn in the rafters which is something the owner said to us was something in the home…so we’re really confident that we know where the cat is and it’s just a matter of time before she’s comfortable enough to show herself to strangers and we can get her home," Boudreau said.
Klapperich wishes she could go to the property and look for her cat, but the farm is on private property and Young Williams says the rescue group, which has helped them save over 500 cats in the past year, has confidentiality agreements with its farms.
“I would like permission to go out there. I think that that would make a difference if she just heard my voice," Klapperich said.