Maine Woman Found Not Guilty of Cat Theft
Stock photo from SOS Animals, Flickr Creative Commons
Convenience store clerk and cat foster volunteer was acquitted from all charges that she violated her agreement and stole a kitten from Safe Haven Humane Society in Wells, Maine.
It all began when Sandra Molina agreed to foster a mom and litter of six kittens, signing an agreement indicating the cats were property of Safe Haven and were not to be transferred beyond the shelter or foster home. Shortly after Molina took the cats home, humane society president Joyce McKay questioned whether or not the mom and babies should stay in the foster home. McKay testified Molina had told her about an oil spill in her building and exposed insulation in the building to which she was planning on moving.
McKay requested Molina return the six-week old kittens (due to health issues, the mother had already been removed). Surprisingly, Molina only returned four of the six, saying she had given away two of them. After threats to involve the police, Molina brought one back, stating the other had been killed by a dog. It was later revealed the cat was actually with one of Molina’s daughters and her boyfriend in New Jersey.
Apparently, when Molina wasn’t home, one of her younger daughters sold the kitten (now named Justin) to her older sister for $100. Molina said she could not be held responsible for this act because she was not home at the time. She and another daughter drove to New Jersey to retrieve Justin, but stated the boyfriend would not return the kitten. McKay organized a fax campaign, citing abuse/neglect, and asking for help from the York County District Attorney’s Office, but still the kitten was not returned.
Molina was charged with theft by unlawful taking or transfer, a Class E misdemeanor, punishable by six months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. The case focused only on the agreement Molina signed and the incident regarding Justin’s transfer outside the foster home. For this charge, the jury found Molina “not guilty.”