RAYTOWN, Mo. -- Staffers at one metro pet rescue said they witnessed an act of cruelty.
Surveillance cameras at Raytown's Midwest Animal ResQ showed a man dumping a cat, still inside its pet carrier, and high-tailing it. But leaders at that shelter were still able to learn his name and address.
Jin, the cat left by that man driving a charcoal grey sedan, remains at the shelter, and on Monday, the cat was visibly terrified.
Animal abandonment is against the law. The cat dumper went as far as to cover the number on his license plate, presumably to conceal his identity.
"A gentleman got out of the car and placed the cat carrier outside our business door. He didn't come in. He didn't explain himself," Erin Morse, Midwest Animal ResQ's president, said Monday.
However, Morse and her staff said they found his name anyway. The cat's microchip was easily found and scanned, and it directed their employees back to the animal's original owners.
Morse also said that man's family had contacted Midwest Animal ResQ on Saturday, complaining that Jin had been fighting with their other cat.
"People simply forget their cat is microchipped or they think there`s no recourse to their actions," Morse told FOX4.
Morse said he's been turned into Raytown Animal Control officers. He faces a fine and, if he seeks to retake possession of the cat, he might be denied. FOX4 reached out to Raytown Animal Control on Monday, but the agency didn't get back to us.
Midwest Animal ResQ doesn't charge a fee to animal owners who want to surrender their pets for adoption, but owners can't just drop their pets off on the porch.
"It's really annoying and frustrating," said Jessica Kelley, another Midwest Animal ResQ's employee.
"Physically, (Jin) is in good shape. Mentally, not so much. He's pretty freaked out, pretty scared," Kelley said.
Sadly, Morse said animal abandonment happens a lot at the holidays because people don't want the hassles of pet ownership when they're busy during a demanding time of year. In other cases, some animals are dumped to make room for new family pets, some of which may be received as gifts.
Midwest Animal ResQ staff members said they're hopeful to see this instance of critter cruelty brought to justice.
"You wouldn't dump your kid at the first daycare you see driving down the street because they're likely not going to have space available for your child. The same thing goes for animal shelter," Morse said.