Tell HCMT to Give Us Our Stolen Animals Back So We Can Give Them a Forever Home!
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Michelle Miller at Homeless Cat Management Team in Tarentum, Pa has taken 3 cats from my rescue without my permission when I took them to their facility for vetting and refuses to return them. She is also making false allegations against my rescue. I want her to return the cats immediately and make a public apology for her actions. I also want HCMT to remove Michelle Miller from their Board for her inappropriate behavior.
My name is Chris Harr and I run Animal Orphans Animal Rescue & Pet Sanctuary. We are a 501c3, No-Kill rescue. When I got saddled with a local hoarder house in October. I reached out to a over a dozen rescues for help.
At the time we were experiencing severe financial difficulties and our shelter had just been hit by a tornado and we were in need of repairs. No one wanted to take any of the cats. I didn't have the room or funds but I knew the city was going to euthanize them all if i didn't help.
The Humane Officer was notified of the situation and he was aware of the cats initial condition and my participation in their removal along with the Hoarder surrendering her pets. All cats were infested with fleas, severely anemic, extremely skinny, missing hair and had flea bite dermititis. They had eye infections & upper respiratory infections, worms, & ear mites. Most had never been handled and were feral or semi-feral.
I had to make a decision. Do I take them in and do the best I can do or do I let Animal control put them all down. I chose to save them.
First we treated the fleas. Then we fed them a high protein diet and gave them organic iron supplements. The ones we could handle, we treated their eyes and upper respiratory infections and cut their nails. We were aware that they had ear mites and worms but we were still trying to build their trust. These were not life threatening issues. I also knew that when I took them to get spayed and neutered that they would deworm them, treat them for ear mites and check their mouths. All without traumatizing them. They have put on weight and their skin has cleared up and their hair has grown back. There is a huge improvement.
Michelle said HCMT would help by providing the vetting and spay / neuters if I housed them. I said that was great. I then offered to pay the adoption fee back to HCMT once each was adopted out. I felt it was only fair to cover the vetting. It was my idea. I asked what the adoption fee was. She said $65.
She lead me to believe that we were going to get them all done in 2 visits. The first time she had me bring in only four cats. I brought 2 that I believed to be pregnant and 2 that Michelle had insisted she had homes for. I would have brought Laverne and Shirley first because I already had them homes. When I arrived Michelle told me that the adopters no longer wanted the two 4 month old females because they were too old and sent me home with them.
I missed the following month because I was in the hospital at the time. The next month she would not respond to my messages so i didn't know what date or how many to bring. After many unanswered messages she finally responded Last Saturday, she told me to bring in 10 on Sunday.
I was excited because many already had homes and several people were interested in the rest.
When i came to pick them up. Michelle informed me that Shirley had bad teeth and needed them pulled. I said fine, I would pay for it. Then she informed me that she gave 2 of my cats to a foster to take to a store without my permission.
These cats had homes. She never even called me to ask. If she had called and ask, 'hey, we have openings at PetSmart, are there any here that don't have homes we can send?' that would have been completely different. I even offered to pick up the cats from the foster. She told me she would call the foster later, that she was busy.
She then had me sign a agreement to pay $65 once each cat was adopted. I noticed she had down 11 cats and I corrected her and said there was a total of 14. Ten this time & 4 from last time. I had her change the number. Then she signed it. I wanted to make sure she was getting the money I owed her.
The next day I still had not heard about my cats from the foster. I messaged Michelle and she accused me of not being a rescue. She then started accusing me of fraud, animal neglect and abuse and proceeded to call me a hoarder, an idiot, crazy, slow and sick to name a few. She said I was just trying to get free animal care and that none of my cats had names.
The last group of cats from my rescue that I brought up prior to the hoarder situation, there was 12 of them. All with names and I paid for them myself and they were all healthy. Her accusations are ungrounded and slanderous.
Then she said she didn't have 3 cats of mine only Shirley. She said she was reporting me for Animal abuse because i refused the surgery. I said that I had done no such thing. I left Shirley there to be taken to the vet and I said I would pay for the bill. She then lied and said I didn't bring in ten cats only 8 and they kept one. I have witnesses from another rescue. We brought ten. One of the two males was named Nutsy. The other had not yet been named but was one of a pair that needed placed together because they were inseparable. They handed me 3 empty carriers. Why would I bring 10 carriers for 7 cats? They had homes. I wanted them returned.
She reported me to the same Humane Officer who was aware of my participation in the removal of these cats. She repeatedly said my "cats" would be returned if I paid $910. $65 x 14 cats= $910 but she keeps saying I didn't bring in 10 that day only 8. 8+4 from the previous trip is 12 and she still has one of them. So how do i owe $910 unless there was 14 cats?
If there was an issue with the outstanding balance she should have said something either when she told me to bring in ten the day before or when we got there. The agreement was to pay her back as they were adopted. She also had no right to send my animals anywhere with anyone without asking my permission first.
I want my cats returned. If Shirley needs her teeth pulled that is fine. I will pay for it. She has a home waiting for her. Michelle is saying this is a humane case. That the cats had ear mites and one had bad teeth. She made a comment that some of the cats had scratches on their ears due to the ear mites. But the 2 males that had scratches on their ears are not the 2 males she kept. She was not concerned about the welfare of these cats. That's not why she took them. Either she wanted them or someone she knew did.
What is truly sad, is that the HCMT is a great organization that helps hundreds of animals each year. Michelle is tarnishing their good deeds with her unprofessional actions.
Please help me get our cats back so we can place them in their forever homes.
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