Kitten snatched from mall returned safe and sound

Baxter and his sister, Tori, were rescued from Hurricane Harvey and brought to the specialized pet shop in November.

Baxter, the tiny 2-pound kitten who survived Hurricane Harvey only to be abducted Saturday, was returned safe and sound Monday night having survived his ordeal with cat-nappers.

A “little boy” walked into the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall Monday night, clutching the kitten in his hands, a pet shop volunteer said.

Then he walked right up to workers at the Shelter Hope Pet Shop and handed Baxter over to them.

“He said he found him (Baxter) in a parking lot,” pet shop volunteer MIriam Anding told The Signal at the shop Tuesday.

“We didn’t want to ask any questions,” she said, noting the kitten was in need of his medicine. “We’re just happy he’s back.”

Baxter was placed in the care of shop volunteer Cindy Josten, the pet shop volunteer who had bottle-fed the kitten back to health when they first got him last month.

Baxter and his sister, Tori, were rescued from Hurricane Harvey and brought to the specialized pet shop in November.

A local woman — not Cindy — adopted both kittens and came by the pet shop Saturday to pick them up, only to learn thieves had snatched Baxter just 20 minutes earlier, Anding said.

If cats really have nine lives, then Baxter has seven left to live with his new owner.

The adoption owner took Tori home with her Saturday, hoping one day soon the two kittens would be reunited somehow.

Brother and sister kittens are to be reunited soon.

Josten said there was no indication that Baxter had been harmed in any way.

“He was very dehydrated,” Josten said, describing Baxter. “But, right now he’s playful.”

Asked about the kitten being returned, she said: “I guess they had just realized what they had done.”

“We’re all happy,” she added. “Everybody wanted him back. We don’t care who they are, we’re just glad they did the right thing.”

Pet shop workers went public Monday with their appeal to the public for help in finding Baxter.

“It’s a merry Christmas to everybody involved in this,” Josten said Tuesday.

Officials with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station who posted the cat-napping on social media Monday morning posted an update Monday night reporting the cat had been returned.

“So happy. Earlier, we asked for your help with tips in finding Baxter, the kitten stolen from his cage at Shelter Hope Saturday night,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station.

“We just found out within the hour that he was returned back to the store. Whoever had him, did the right thing and returned him. Thank you for all of your shares – Baxter is going to be ok.”

Baxter was stolen from the mall pet shop Saturday, prompting immediate concerns among workers that the cat would be without his medicine.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station issued an alert on social media Monday, hoping someone has seen the stolen kitty.

“It’s been a nightmare,” Dani Caouette who runs the pet shop said at the time of the abduction.. “Whoever took him, if he has a hard time breathing, please take him to a vet.”


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