The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station posted the following message Monday evening, not long after several outlets ran stories about the theft:
“So happy! Earlier, we asked for your help with tips in finding Baxter, the kitten stolen from his cage at Shelter Hope Saturday night. We just found out within the hour that HE WAS RETURNED back to the store! Whoever had him, did the THE RIGHT THING & returned him. Thank you for all of your shares- Baxter is going to be ok!”
A tiny kitten named Baxter who survived Hurricane Harvey and was placed with caregivers who nursed him back to life at the Shelter Hope Pet Shop, inside the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall, was snatched from his cage Saturday.
Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station issued an alert on social media Monday, hoping someone has seen the stolen kitty.
Baxter, who weighs a little more than two pounds, needs his medicine, Shelter Hope Pet Shop spokeswoman Dani Caouette told The Signal Monday.
“It’s been a nightmare,” she said, noting she has an urgent message for the cat-nappers.
“Whoever took him, if he has a hard time breathing, please take him to a vet.”
On Saturday, sometime between 5-6 p.m. when staff at the Shelter Hope Pet Shop said it was busy, Baxter was stolen from his cage, Caouette said. She called sheriff’s deputies immediately.
Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station posted news of the abduction, saying Baxter was “rescued at great lengths by volunteers who transported him all the way from Texas, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,”
Volunteers at the mall had been nursing him back to health, and he’s currently dependent on daily medication, she said.
“If you have Baxter, please do the right thing and return him to the heartbroken staff at Shelter Hope Pet Shop, so they can continue monitoring his health,” Miller said.
A woman named Cindy was personally bottle-feeding the tiny kitten continually since the day he arrived at the shelter Nov. 16.
“I don’t think she’s stopped crying,” Caouette said about Cindy.
Theresa Sanchez, who also works at the shelter, said the young volunteers who help with the animals remain “heartbroken… absolutely crushed” over the incident.
Caouette said she is not interested in prosecuting the cat-nappers, and remains solely concerned for the cat’s well-being.
One lead shared with detectives now assigned to the case, she said, was a report made by one woman about three suspicion teens.
“She said she noticed these three kids running off with a sweatshirt holding a tiny kitten,” Caouette said.
Caouette opened the Shelter Hope Pet Shop in the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall in April 2015.
If anyone knows the whereabouts of Baxter, please call the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Detective Bureau at 661-255-1121 Ext. 5146.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to LA CrimeStoppers by calling (800)222-TIPS (8477), or by using the website LACrimeStoppers.org .
Refer file number: 917-17402-0608-383
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