Chrissy: Home At Last


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By Karen Harrison Binette

Rita Beach fought her local  SPCA’s decision to give her cat to another family, and won. A year after she went missing, Chrissy returned home to her loving family this week.

Chrissy, at left, curled up in a cosy spot once again, with Winky.

Chrissy was an indoor cat who slipped out and went missing. A long time family member in the Beach household, which has several other pets, Chrissy disappeared  in June of 2011, to her family’s great worry and sorrow.

Someone found and kept Chrissy and, even though she had a microchip, her identity was not confirmed until this past January. The Chester County PA SPCA,  the shelter where the Beaches adopted Chrissy, let the family who found her keep Chrissy, even though her microchip proved that she belonged with Rita Beach and her family.

Rita was contacted in January and was initially given the impression that she would get her cat back. The SPCA later told her that she and her family were irresponsible pet owners – a charge Rita disputes – and they had allowed the other family to keep Chrissy. The shelter’s adoption agreement stipulates that cats are to be indoor pets.

We posted Rita and Chrissy’s story Chrissy’s Family Wants Justice and Wants Her Back Home on March 3. That story includes Rita’s guest post Chester County SPCA Stole My Cat, where she tells her story. We followed up on March 8 with Petition Seeks Beloved Cat Chrissy’s Return To Her Family, then periodically checked in with Rita’s group Chester County SPCA stole my cat.

Chrissy, the grey cat at top, and the other cats getting treats together as a bonding exercise.

Despite the SPCA’s refusal to return her cat to her, Rita persisted in her efforts to get Chrissy back, finally obtaining legal representation and vowing to pursue the matter to the fullest. Rita’s attorney filed suit to get Chrissy back from the SPCA. In late May the attorney reported to Rita that the SPCA hoped the suit would be dropped if Rita were to receive a phone call from the woman who had Chrissy, reassuring her that her cat was doing well.  Rita told him that the same offer had been made in April, and she had refused it once and would refuse it again.

A civil court hearing was scheduled for June 7. If Rita were to win her case the SPCA would likely have been given a fine, but the win would not require them to return Chrissy to her family. Rita also signed papers for Common Pleas Court to file a Replevin Action. By doing so, she would sue to get her “stolen or lost property” back.  The woman who had Chrissy reportedly did not want her name revealed and, with the Replevin Action, she would be included and her name would be made known.

When the SPCA’s lawyers learned of the plans, they reportedly advised the organization to concede, telling them the Beaches would win. By June 6, the day before the civil court date, Rita was informed that she would get Chrissy back. Rita is not able to sue to recover her legal costs, but she says she is just happy to be getting her beloved girl back. She signed papers on June 11, and on June 12 she had her beloved cat back after an entire year.

Rita is absolutely thrilled that her persistence brought Chrissy home, and is enjoying each day as Chrissy gets to know everyone again, gets back in synch with the other cats, and settles back in to her home.

Rita did not take no for an answer, and she has secured the happiest of outcomes for her family.

An older photo of Chrissy



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9 thoughts on “Chrissy: Home At Last”

  1. Playing devil’s advocate, do we know the Beach family are as good as the article indicates for the cat? It may just be a bad shot, but that cat does not look happy to be home. Just wishing all the best for the cat.

  2. Dogs get out of fences, inside cats decide to slip out the door all of a sudden. The cat getting out does not indicate the owner is not a good owner. That’s why pets are microchipped. If something unusual happens they can’t give anyone their name, phone number, and home address. As for not looking happy, she’s adjusting back to her normal.

  3. That is an older photo of Chrissy. I included it because the two new photos are not portrait shots. Rita Beach is well regarded in her treatment of and responsibility for her animals. She was prepared to offer a statement to that effect from a rescue organization she fostered for. She felt the loss of the cat and took action to secure her return. Some of us would have given up.

  4. Thank you for your responses. This was not an attack, I was just wobdering what the other side if the story was. Cheers.

  5. I’m missing something here. The cat was missing for seven months, and then mysteriously showed up at the ASPCA? How did the cat get into the hands of the ASPCA?

    Did the new “owner” take the cat to the vet AT the ASPCA? And if so, then obviously the new “owner” had to mention that they found the cat, hence the reason why the cat was scanned for a chip.

    And if the ASPCA wasn’t interested in returning the cat to the legal owner, as whatever name is attached to the chip, then why did they call and say they found her cat?

    And example of the mentality shown by ASPCA would be, you find a wallet, with money and an ID in it. But you refuse to return the wallet and money to the person, because you feel that they are irresponsible enough to lose their wallet and money, then they don’t deserve it back.

    Hope the people at that ASPCA that were involved in this lose their wallets…….

  6. Hi Steele,
    Rather than give all the details again, I linked to the earlier post where Rita tells the whole saga.

    Also, this was an independent SPCA, and not the ASPCA

  7. I’ve been watching Rita’s group for awhile on face book – supporting her 100% – I know if it were me I would fight to the death to get my babies back. Please don’t let this deter you from adopting an animal there, it’s not their fault the Chester co. SPCA sucks – they still need loving homes! – So happy for you Rita!

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