NC woman fights to get pets back from local humane society following Florence


NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — A woman in New Bern says she took her cats to the Colonial Capital Humane Society after she was displaced following Hurricane Florence with the understanding that she would get them back.

Now, she says the humane society is unwilling to give her those cats back.

Rebecca Brooks says she thought the understanding was “care for the cats until the owner can come to get.”

After Hurricane Florence, she lost just about everything.

“We had about a foot of water in the house, we decided we couldn’t leave the pets,” said Brooks.

Colonial Capital’s Emergency Humane Society was taking in pets from all over, helping people displaced by the storm.

So she took her cats, Butter and Trappy, there until she could get back in her home in New Bern.

“The paperwork was noted that they were not being abandoned and this was a temporary situation,” she said.

She says she’s back in her house now and wants her cats but the humane society won’t give them to her.

Teri Hartley used to volunteer there and she remembers seeing Butter and Trappy come in.

“They came in in good health — I did the intake forms for those cats that day,” Hartley said.

But when she found out the society wasn’t willing to give up the cats, she stopped volunteering and now she’s helping Brooks.

They’ve talked to the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, The North Carolina Department of Agriculture, even going so far as filing a lawsuit.

They say they were told the cats were in bad health and full of fleas, but they don’t believe that.

“They were in good health, I called and verified that their shots were up to date so there is no reason to deny giving this woman her cats back,” said Hartley.

WNCT went to Colonial Capital Thursday to see if they would tell their side of the story. We were referred to their lawyer who said he didn’t have a comment because of the pending lawsuit.

We reached out to the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Hughes said the only thing that Brooks can do is go to court, which she plans to do.

She has a court date next month.

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