TELLER COUNTY, Colo. - UPDATED with shelter's response.
A woman in Teller County is on the search for a cat she says was wrongfully adopted, and she blames an organization that reunites lost pets with their owners for the mistake.
Candy Harman's cat, Kitty, went missing in May. She said she reached out to the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter for help. Someone at the organization eventually contacted her to let her know the shelter may have her cat. But Harman didn't hear the message in time. Once she did, the cat was up for adoption and soon taken in by another family.
"I was completely devastated, hysterically crying," Harman said.
Shelter manager Mary Steinbeiser said TCRAS followed state law and held the stray cat for at least five days before putting it up for adoption. During that time, she said they had the cat spayed and vaccinated. They also used that time to call Harman. But they didn't hear from her for three weeks.
"When they don't return our phone call, we have no way to decipher what's going on in their world," Steinbeiser said. "We just expect that if they were really missing their animal, and were concerned about it, that they would be calling us back, and getting in touch with us."
Harman said she had misplaced her phone.
The cat was adopted as Ginger out of PetSmart on Southgate. Shelter leaders said they initially didn't contact the family that adopted Ginger because that's not their policy. When they made an exception, the owners said they didn't want to participate in the situation.
Steinbeiser said they can't confirm Ginger is actually Harman's cat, Kitty, because she had no microchip or collar. Harman says it is, and she has a message for the family who may have adopted her.
"Just that I love my cat and please, please just bring her home," she said.