Kitten Stolen From Humane Society on New York Ave – $1000 Reward Offered


From Washington Humane Society:

$1,000 Reward For Safe Return and Identification of person(s) Responsible

A young female kitten named Callista disappeared from the Washington Humane Society’s (WHS) Adoption Center on New York Ave in NE yesterday afternoon. WHS is offering a reward for her safe return and/or for the identity of the person or persons responsible for her theft.

“It’s hard to believe someone would stoop so low and do this” states Scott Giacoppo, the Vice President of External Affairs for the group. “Our adoption process is so easy, it only takes a few minutes and in the end your pet is completely vaccinated, spayed or neutered and you have a long-term relationship with our organization in case you ever need help,” he goes on to say.

WHS is now appealing to the public to help get Callista back to the Adoption Center so that she can receive all the medical procedures that go into the adoption process and to ensure that the family that takes her fully understands her needs. Anyone with information is urged to call 1-202-576-6664

60 Comment

  • Nothing about this post makes sense. WHS is not that big a place with that many people coming in and out. And no unsupervised visits where one could just snatch a kitten. And they usually don’t even keep kittens there anyway but foster them out. And $1000 reward is just ridiculous. Please check on this.

  • It’s a cat.

    Animals should be treated with respect, all domesticated cats and dogs should be spayed, neutered, or kept from indiscriminate breeding.

    but still, it’s a cat.

  • I feel bad this happened, but I disagree that the “adoption process is so easy” there. We tried to adopt a dog from there and were tuned down because we have jobs that keep us out of the house during the day. Not sure how we’re supposed to pay for food without working, but it seemed pretty ridiculous to us. I’m not really surprised someone walked out of there with a kitten.

    • Interesting. I got turned down by several other places for being single and having a job, therefore being out of the house during the day. But I had no problem adopting from WHS. maybe because my dog was older and had less energy and I was planning to get a dog walker? I met my guy on a Saturday, got a call a few days later that my application and gone through, a few days after that was a home visit (which was just a guy coming to my house to make sure I lived where I said I lived and it allowed pets), and he was home a few days after that. The whole process took maybe a week, including him having his snip snip.

    • Compared to some other shelters I visited (namely the Montgomery County one), the adoption process is very easy. I work at an office and was single when I adopted my dog from WHS (this was 4 years ago). I got a call the day after I submitted my application and was told I could pick her up that day, which I did- no hassle.

      The fact that it was so easy actually scared me a little. They did call my landlord, as I was renting at the time, but pretty much just anyone could walk in there and adopt an animal. Maybe they’ve gotten a bit stricter since.

  • $1,000???? Really???? No more donations from me!

    • Exactly. Think of how many animals they could help with that $1,000. This is absurd.

      • i’m glad to know that so many pop commentors know so much about how to run things!

      • That is assuming the $1,000 is coming from their unrestricted funds and not a special source that couldn’t be repurposed for their general activities. Who knows, maybe they have a supporter for whom animal theft really sticks in their craw and *they* put up the reward money. Obviously, we don’t know either way, since the news coverage doesn’t specify. And I’m not denying that wasteful and nonsensical spending sometimes exists in the nonprofit community. But being in the field myself, I can definitely say that in some cases where the public might think “OMG, I can’t believe this group is spending money on *that* instead of this other worthy core activity!” it’s donor-influenced. While unrestricted funds are the holy grail for any nonprofit development officer, most donors want to see their money go toward their specific pet (pardon the pun) project rather than general use.

        • $1,000 is $1,000 – I could care less where it came from. That is a lot of money for a charitable organization to be throwing around over a stolen cat.

          • …and point missed.

          • But “throwing” it around implies that they’re wastefully using $1,000 for this purpose instead of for a more worthwhile purpose. And maybe you could care less where it came from, but it’s not your money. In this case, the “where it came from”–ie, the donor–cares very much. I was just speculating in my previous comment, but the WHS post further down in the thread actually addresses this question by clarifying that they have a fund to which donors give money specifically for purposes like this. Some people may think it’s a frivolous thing to give money for, but obviously some supporters think it’s a worthwhile use of their donations. Even if they wanted to use the money for other or “better” things, nonprofits CANNOT go against donor intent. Those who think the WHS should spend their money on certain things are free to give their own donations to other special funds, or to the general fund.

  • So let me understand this.

    Despite the fact that one of hte WHS employees had to unlock the kitten and physically hand it to someone to look at, they don’t know who took it? Or, some employee wasn’t doing their job.

    And $1,000 dollars for an animal that had a decent chance of needing to be put down anyway if not adopted?

    I love cats but none of this makes any sense at all and spending that much money trying to recover a kitten that you or your employees were negligent with is just plain odd.

  • Does Newt Gingrich have an alibi??

    • Well he has been married to her since 2000 so it may be time to trade her in for the next mistress…..

  • That’s awful… hope the mystery is solved soon.

    PoP do we know if that’s an actual picture of the stolen kitten?

  • 1 – organization’s sole purpose is to distribute animals in its possession to new homes;

    2 – animal is taken (albeit, stolen, but taken nonetheless)

    3 – organization offers $1000 of (donated) funds to retrieve animal

    • Right! Shouldn’t they be happy about this?

    • taken, without shots, unspayed, to an unknown environment that could be very harmful.
      there is the concern that this cat could be used in dog fight training.

    • There’s a difference between getting adopted–after proper vetting–by a responsible, loving individual or family, and getting stolen for god knows what. Their goal isn’t just to “get rid” of homeless animals.

      • Agree with this. It seems likely there may be more to the story than has been reported. For all we know, there was a some sketchy individual asking strange and suspicious questions about the kitten that raised red flags to an WHS employee. Then shortly thereafter, the kitten is disappeared.

      • But someone looking for a free kitten just has to go to Craigslist, or ask around local neighborhoods where people who don’t tend to get their animals fixed live. Or wait outside the humane society for someone coming in to drop off kittens.

        When I went “kitty shopping” at WARL, a man brought in a mom & 4 kittens. They wanted to charge him $50.00 to drop them off there, or he could take them himself to WHS on NY ave. and leave them for free. He didn’t want to drive over there, and it turned out that they accepted the family and said they would send them over to WHS later. They did wind up keeping them at WARL because they were all so cute, as so very desirable, but I could easily have taken a couple right then.

  • I would hope that if anyone can claim the $1,000 reward they would refuse to accept it.

  • em

    Apparently the kitten was taken during an adoption event (where there were many people around) – so there might not have been one-on-one supervision of the people looking at the cats. However, why bring a kitten to an adoption event if it isn’t ready to be adopted yet?

    • because it costs money to do that.

    • WHS doesn’t give shots or spay an animal until it has been adopted. It is an unfortunate fact that many of the animals that end up there have to be put down, so they don’t do the procedures until they find the animals a home. When I got my dog, they didn’t do his neuter surgery until they’d done my home visit, even though he had another family after me on a waiting list if I didn’t work out.

  • A thousand dollars for a kitten? What, did it swallow someone’s engagement ring? Is it a laboratory kitten carrying the cure for tuberculosis in its genetic code??

  • I feel like there’s more to the story. I don’t think the $1000 is just beacuse they are concerned about one kitten that doesn’t have vaccinations. I think they’re interested in catching someone who might be stealing additional animals or maybe other things from WHS.

  • 1) There are some cold-hearted commenters in this thread.
    2) Who knows who is putting up the reward money? Maybe someone else was planning to adopt this kitten, was waiting for the vaccination process to get finished, and was heartbroken when the kitten got taken before the process was complete? I imagine saving your kid from heartbreak by getting back an adorable kitten is worth $1,000 to someone who has it to spare.
    3) This story is sad.

  • I really hope she was taken by someone who was just overcome by the cuteness and gave in to an impulse.

  • Agreed- F this kitten and WHS for not putting $1,000 to better use.

  • I can haz $1000?

  • $1000 is a very reasonable amount to persuade people who may not otherwise come forward with information that will bring these people to justice. If $1000 means a kitten will not be abused, let it be so, I don’t know how anyone can feel otherwise. Who knows what the intentions of the thief actually are, and an example must be set that people cannot commit such a crime without consequences, and unfortunately the best way to do that is to offer cash, because sadly that’s more enticing than just doing what’s right.

  • It seems like it would be easy for someone to find a similar-looking kitten and claim the $1000.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Pretty sure she is microchipped, just not spayed yet.

      • I don’t know what the WHS policy is, but usually you wait until the pet is spayed or neutered to get it microchipped. Less expensive and less stress on the animal (plus it’s unlikely they’ll wander away when they’re that young).

  • “Give me your kittie. Aegeans cost a lot of money.”

  • I think this is more to get a ton of exposure and to shame the person who took the kitty into returning it. I think that happened with a puppy that was taken earlier this year or last year, the person returned it and they didn’t have to pay out the reward.

  • Sounds like this kitty may be been the cutest drug mule in history.

  • 1. $1,000 is not a lot of money.

    2. This is clearly about more than one little kitten. They are sending a message. Shock and Awe, baby.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Then there’s the $100K prize from the Rachael Ray ASPCA competition, which starts this Saturday. WHS and WARL will be holding adopt-a-thons.

  • Thank you for covering this story! WHS works hard to offer affordable adoption fees which include often expensive new pet services (vaccinations, micro-chip, spay/neuter, medical and behavior evaluation). At the Washington Humane Society, we never put a timeline on an animal’s stay, and we will never accept anything less than 100% adoptions for healthy, temperamentally sound animals. We are devastated that Callista was stolen from us, and that someone would think to commit this criminal act. Like most all of our criminal investigations, a reward is offered as motivation for community members to come forward with information. Sadly, this is often what it takes. As any pet owner would do, it is our responsibility to make every effort possible to keep Callista, and all of the animals in our care, safe and sound. We are grateful to have financial supporters who make gifts directly to our Justice find, which allows us to offer rewards in situations like this.

  • This sounds like a case for the Scooby Doo Detective Agency.

  • that’s a lot of money to spend on a little pussy

  • valentina

    It’s some cold hearted people in this thread….

  • Good to see so much expertise with reward money budgeting and Humane Society management among these comments! Illuminating! Now I’ll head over to Yelp, where people accuse WHS of being lazy slobs who don’t care about the animals’ welfare.

  • Good point, Anonymous. Everyone check out when this happened to a dog:

    $1000 is fair reward for a cat, and not a bad use of Humane Society’s money.

Comments are closed.