AITA For neutering a cat that was clearly owned?
I run a TNR program for feral cats. Non profit, I catch all cats and get them the medical attention they need myself, out of my own pocket. I love helping them. A lot of the cats are not able to be rehomed, so I fix them and release them. Get them their shots and hope for the best. I am not a large scale operation.
Recently I was called to an area overrun with orange cats. They were everywhere and I mostly ended up handing it over to professionals.
I did, however, manage to grab three very sweet cats. Two were terrified, skinny, a little beaten up, but overrall friendly. The third one was a little gent.
He was tubby, well groomed, fish patterned collar, the works. My plan was to find his parents and drop him off with a warning to keep him in due to the large amount of traps being set. Then the little bastard sprayed the inside of my car to the freakin max.
So, apparently, he wasn’t fixed. I couldn’t really tell (longhair) and assumed he was so left my covers off. Big mistake!
I debated taking him home or taking him to get neutered with the rest. He was an indoor-outdoor cat (indicated by his collar tag) and with so many strays I’m certain some were carrying his genetics.
Ultimately I took him with me and got him neutered. No chip so I called the number on his tag and informed them where their cat was and gave them time slots to pick him up or have him dropped off.
The owners went ballistic. They were cursing me out and came to collect their cat not twenty minutes later. Called me a kidnapper, blamed me for their child having nightmares (scared over their cat going missing).
I tried to explain that he needed to be fixed if he was going to be outside but they didn’t want to know. They said I should have called immediately regardless.
I spoke to my rescue friend who said I was in the wrong. Even though we know we are technically in the right, we didn’t have the legal ground to do that and it wasn’t my decision to make.
I did apologise, but have blocked their numbers (the mom is flaming me on facebook and dm’ing people I know). I have a duty to care for stray cats. Me knowing an unneutered male was roaming free and not doing anything about it was a concern for said stray cats.
Things are still tense between my rescue buddy and I and I don’t completely disagree. I know I crossed a line even if it was for the greater good. People are finding out and taking sides, so I’m not sure who to really believe was “right” here.