Home Valley Advocate Kitten Stolen from Springfield Shelter — Watch the Security Footage

Kitten Stolen from Springfield Shelter — Watch the Security Footage

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Flint the kitten. Photo courtesy of Dakin Humane Society

SPRINGFIELD — Dakin Humane Society is reporting that two unidentified women entered the animal shelter at 171 Union Street at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Thursday and made off with an eight-week-old kitten.

But now the cat’s out of the bag — the incident was caught on security camera footage provided to the Advocate Friday morning.

Dakin’s executive director Carmine DiCenso says that the two women entered the shelter during a crowded adoption event and interacted with greeters, who reported that one of the alleged perpetrators may have asked where the adoption center was. According to DiCenso, eyewitnesses report that one of the women removed the kitten from its cage and tucked it under a shirt before running out the door.

The catnapping was immediately brought to the attention of Dakin staff, who then called the police. The two women were previously unknown to the shelter’s staff.

The male kitten, named Flint, was brought to Dakin when it was two to three weeks old, having been separated from its mother. The kitten is off-white with a brown patch on its head and has one blue and one brown eye.

The kitten is microchipped, which would provide identification should it be recovered, but will not aid in tracking its location.

“Certainly all I can do is speculate,” DiCenso says on the motives of the perpetrators. “If I were to guess and hope for the best, they wanted a kitten to love and care for, but didn’t want to pay the fee. Or they looked at the crowd of people and decided it was going to be too long of a wait. Whatever it was, they made a bad decision.”

Dakin charges a $350 adoption fee to help cover the cost of vaccinating, spaying or neutering, and microchipping, though DiCenso says the cost of preparing an animal for adoption is closer to $500. The adoption process itself, he says, is “fairly easy,” involving a conversation with a staff member about the medical history and requirements of each animal.

DiCenso says he’s open to the possibility of allowing the perpetrators to keep the kitten should they come forward.

“I think we would probably have a long conversation, but we certainly would be open to talking to them,” he says. “Certainly we don’t want to make any snap judgements on who they are from that one decision, but it’s a pretty bad one… We just want to make sure that he’s okay and he has everything he needs.”

“We don’t feel we were understaffed,” DiCenso adds. “We do rely heavily on volunteers as they help broaden our reach greatly. We have a really strong volunteer program and have hundreds of active volunteers, but people are always welcome to join our monthly volunteer session.”

Springfield police have interviewed eyewitnesses and are investigating the incident. Dakin requests that anyone with information regarding the identity of the thieves or the whereabouts of the kitten contact the shelter or the police department.

Contact Pete Vancini at [email protected].