Chrissy’s Family Wants Justice and Wants Her Back Home

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Chrissy was an indoor cat who slipped out and went missing. The local SPCA said her family did not deserve to get her back, after a microchip scan identified them, and let the person who found Chrissy adopt her. The family say they are responsible pet lovers who do not deserve to be treated this way.

Chrissy was an indoor cat who slipped out, like many do.  The local SPCA let the family who found her keep Chrissy, though a microchip proved that she belonged with Rita Beach and her family. Rita says the Chester county SPCA dismissed her as an irresponsible pet parent because her cat got out once. The family say  they are responsible pet owners who never dreamed they would be treated this way. They say they are animal lovers for whom Chrissy was a special and beloved family member who has been unjustly taken away from them.

The following story is a guest post by Rita Beach.

Chester County SPCA stole my cat

I adopted Chrissy in 2003, I picked her because she had been there the longest; she was about 2 when I got her. Through the years she had some issues: she would sneeze all the time, she had a skin problem and would get scabs and her fur would fall out. The vet said it all had to do with allergies. She didn’t like carpet or rugs, so she would pee on them. We replaced all of our carpet with hardwood floors and removed our rugs from our bathroom floor, just to keep Chrissy happy.

She was an indoor cat but she snuck out a few times. She would hide under the deck in the corner where I couldn’t get her, and I would spend hours sitting there with a can of Fancy Feast trying to coax her out. It always worked and she would run back in with her brother Winky and 4 dogs siblings. Like my children, she wanted to be an only child, but since there are so many unwanted pets in the world I always felt like I had to do my share and other people’s share since not everyone has a pet. But she always got along with my dogs and cats.

In June 2011 she snuck outside; we looked everywhere and we really thought she would come home. We put up posters, asked neighbors & told the police. Months went by and no Chrissy, we thought the worst; a fox or something got her.

On January 16, 2012 I got a voice mail from a very nice person at the Chester County SPCA who told me that they’d found “my cat”, and to call back. I was so happy and called her right back. She told me someone found her and took her to the vet and they found her embedded micro chip (that proves ownership to me!).  She said that this person wanted to adopt her; I said that unless I talk to them I wouldn’t give up ownership of Chrissy.

What if they had her since June and made it impossible for her to return home, and what will they do when she starts peeing all over their house? She was my baby and we adapted to her “princess like ” behavior. This nice person told me that she would have the person who found her call me or the SPCA would call me back.

I soon found out that the “nice person” turned out to be a “nice liar”. That was Monday and by Wednesday I didn’t get a call, so I called the SPCA. I said who I was and inquired about my cat, and it turned out that I was speaking to Jill Roxbury. Right away she rudely informed me that “the cat was adopted into a loving home”; my response was that she had a loving home. She then told me that since I let the cat outside I couldn’t have her back! Really? Is it illegal to let your cat outside? Sorry, but I had a 5 year old son who may not have shut the door all the way, do you want to take him from me too?

My husband called later and talked to the director, Kathryn Sippel. She told him that they had a meeting about the situation, then told him that they wanted to ensure that the cat didn’t end up at the SPCA again. Really? I had the cat for 9 years and she got lost one time, and aren’t they there to help reunite owners with their pets? Well, we got a lawyer and are taking them to Civil Court in Chester County.

We aren’t some dirt balls that think that animals are disposable. I work with an animal rescue and fostered animals and found them homes (or kept them). I had a dog shipped to me from Indiana from Craigslist because she was in a high kill shelter and had one week to live. I sent them money and they sent her to me a few years ago.

My husband recently retired after 34 years of being a police officer and he dealt with the SPCA many times when they found lost dogs. He just assumed that they tried to get the owners reunited with their lost pets. Boy, he was wrong!

I would never have thought that this could happen to us. We have jobs, live in a nice house, have children and take good care of all of our animals, but because one person decided that I am an unfit pet owner because my indoor cat got lost one time, I don’t deserve to have her back after I took good care of her for 9 years. If I was such a bad pet why didn’t they ever send anyone to check on our other animals?

Thank you for reading my story.
We are,
The Heartbroken Beach Family in Chester County PA


The Beach family from a few years ago. Two more cats have joined the family since then. Rita is holding Chrissy.

This weekend, Rita will place a flyer in hundreds of mailboxes in her area. It reads as follows:

Have You Seen Me?

Chrissy our gray tortoiseshell colored cat escaped from our loving home
last year, Granger Lane & Caln Mtg House Road. We looked everywhere
for her but just couldn’t find her. January 16, 2012 the SPCA called and
said that someone found our girl after they took her to the vet where they
found the embedded ID Chip that the SPCA input in her in 1993 when we
adopted her. I quickly told them that we would reimburse the nice person
who found her for whatever expenses they incurred.
The SPCA said the person who found her would call me (since they still
had her) or they would call me back. 1 1/2 days went by after no phone call
I called them. Their very rude employee, Jill Roxbury informed me that
“the cat” was adopted into a loving home (by the person who found her)
even though she already had a very loving home. No reasoning with her so
I hung up. We have been going around and around with them ever since.
We hired an attorney and the SPCA’s only response was a nasty phone call
to us saying that since we let our cat outside we would never get her back.
(she was an indoor only cat but it isn’t against the law to let your cat
outside). Our next step is Civil Court and we are requesting a subpoena for
all of the paperwork pertaining to Chrissy.
If the SPCA would have checked, we work with an animal rescue, I foster
animals, have found them homes or sometimes keep them. We had a dog
shipped to us off of Craigslist from IN from a high kill shelter that had 1
week to live. We are not careless pet owners and deserve to have the cat
that we took care of and loved for almost 9 years.
If you have seen Chrissy or know who adopted her (someone in Caln Twp)
please help us.
Thank you
(610) 380-3563

Rita has set up a Facebook group, Chester County SPCA stole my cat. She would welcome anyone who is supportive and would like to join.

Editor’s note: The Chester County SPCA issued a warning to cat owners to keep their cats inside a few months ago, due to a rash of cat killings in the area. Chrissy got out and went missing in June, before that warning was made. While we appreciate the SPCA wanting to ensure that cats are kept safe, we also know that, unless it is caged, any indoor cat can find their moment and get outside.

12 thoughts on “Chrissy’s Family Wants Justice and Wants Her Back Home”

  1. This is an injustice to the family that took the time and money to microchip their beloved pet. To have that pet get found and then told they were irresponsible pet owners. Never mind the fact that the cat was chipped. As I commented before. I guess microchipping an animal is only a means of revenue for the agencies who have to deal with the true irresponsible animal owners.

  2. I believe that it is an outrage for not returning the cat to her loving home I have 2 dogs that are outside dogs and they are my boys and I love them lots I also have 2 inside dogs and they are girls I love them very much and I have 3 cats and they are girls and I love them very much. all my animals are in a loving home on a ranch and spca better stay away from the ranch!! and I also have a male horse (gilding) , a mare and a colt male…ect. they better stay away!! private property!!! Rita Beach it sickens me to hear what they have done if you would like another adorable kitten I have on you can pick out of the 5 remaining kittens one of my girls got out she had 6 babbies 3 wks ago 2 girls and 4 boys when she is done nursing all my girls will be getting fixed

  3. The world has changed. We were led to believe various agencies were created to help animals and their people. Now, everytime you read about one you get a different “take” on things. I believe most (I hope) people do and want to take care of their animals. In this case, Chrissy kitty decided to take a walk. She had been chipped, and it, and her people were identified. But now do we all have to prove we are good caregivers who do our best to care and protect our pets. Do we need to get testimonials from neighbors, mail people, etc. to attest we seem to be doing good to our pets. With places who were thought to be doing well with their “rescues” now the focus of proving that they were and found out they weren’t, how do we prove ourselves truthful, loving, caring people taking good care of our pet(s). Chrissy’s people seemed to do much in trying to locate her. When someone DID get her and take her to an animal protective place, and Chrissy’s people were id, why could they not take their kitty home? I don’t know all the law, but rescue people regularly send someone out to do a home check. Couldn’t this have helped to solve any question about their ability to care for their much loved pet? I just wonder.

  4. Why don’t you set up your own page on Facebook? Or have someone set up for you if you don’t want the SPCA to be able to hold it over your head. They won’t be able to delete posts off of that one! One way to make sure people know of their bad deed and to put pressure on they cannot ignore! You. Could also post updates to it. I know I would love to know how it goes for you. Cannot believe this was anything but illegal!!!

  5. Hi Laura if you look up above right above the Editors Note there is a link to my facebook page that I set up about Chrissy. It is called “The Chester County SPCA Stole My Cat”. Thank you everyone your support means alot. I really think they thought that I would just let it go and not try and get my little girl back but they were wrong, when I get a pet it is for life!! Thanks again.

  6. Rita:
    Did you adopt this cat originally? Did you sign a contract that outlines the adoption requirements? Did you abide by these requirements? According to you this is not the first time the cat has gotten out of the house. How would you feel ior who would you blame if your Chrissy got hit by a car, I applaud the SPCA for their rules, as this helps to keep our animals safe. In light of what happened you should have given up the rights to Chrissy. As a side note how many of the animals (6) from the picture are still with you now?

  7. Hello Deacon (I mean, CCSPCA) I see you have gone with the tried and true “trash the owners” defense. Ever so popular when you know you are going to crash and burn in the eyes of the public AND court of law. Nice try, we don’t buy it.

  8. I would agree that Deacon is probably the CCSPCA/Katherine or Jill. I don’t owe you an explaination but cats do get outside and golly gee some cats even live outside! Since I have a small child sometimes the door doesn’t get shut all the way, should he be given up for adoption also? And you will be sorry to hear but all of the animals pictured are still alive and doing quite well and I also added 2 more cats since that picture was taken.

  9. Deacon/CCSPCA: You stole Chrissy from her loving family. The microchip proves it. Why not admit you made a mistake and go get Chrissy back from the people who have her and return her to Rita and her family. This is not going to go away. You adopted Chrissy out under false pretences. She was not homeless! The adoption is not legal.

  10. OMG. Deacon is certainly ASPCA. I refuse to deal with these people for several reason. But the biggest came from an Animal Control Officer that sealed the deal for me. most cat owners love their animals like they are family, this family is being treated like an animal abusing hoarding family. As a cat lover who owns a feline sanctuary, I can tell you these guys are far from that description. I would bring civil suit against ASPCA. If you had it chipped and its shots were up date and you were financially resp. for the pet, it is your property and they STOLE it. Therefor should be brought up on charges. I am sick and tired of these people acting like cops, when all they really are are animal Nazis. I cant stand the VA ASPCA

  11. My neighbor and friend is going through the exact same issue, with a 14 year old dog someone found outside HER HOME and took from her. Within two days the 14 year old dog was neutered. The Medina Co. S.P.C.A. did not follow protocol for returning the animal, and now my friend is facing criminal charges for animal abuse and neglect. Absolutely, unbelievable. We’ve elevated pets to people status. Of course animals should not be abused or neglected, but this dog was neither. As she last knew, the S.P.C.A. had spent $2,000 on this dog. Are you serious. I went to the S.P.C.A. website, looked at the list of business donors in the area that I thought I would use, and I wrote them letters telling them that because they supported a group this fanatical, I would not be using them for any type of business transaction (and I actually got feedback from this) . I wrote a letter to the judge presiding over my friends case, and I can see on the court’s website that my letter was entered into the case records. Don’t give up! Don’t get mad or even. Just get justice.

  12. Has this been resolved? I have a similar situation in Medina Ohio with the Spca and want advise.

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