rescuing an "owned" outdoor cat

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Purred: Wed Mar 5, '14 4:28pm PST 
I am from the Philly area and got info on facebook about a very sweet cat that was roaming an area called the Italian market. It is collarless and actually tries to follow people home. When my husband and I went to Philly to attempt to find this cat and rescue it(foster and then try to find a suitable home), we didn't actually see it, but when I asked one woman living in the area she said, "That cat lives in that garage;(I did see food cans under the garage door); he belongs to that neighbor there. He doesn't want to be an indoor cat." She got all defensive and tried to call the neighbor. My husband and I left, but I am not feeling at all satisfied or comfortable with this situation. I think this cat could be in a much safer, more loving situation. How can I proceed?

Bert (Miss- You!- '88-'07)


Purred: Fri Mar 7, '14 1:10pm PST 
Since the cat has an owner, you can't legally take him without the owner's consent. (If the cat "just happened" to "follow" you home, it doesn't sound like the owner would worry too much about his cat being stolen, though. shh)

But since you aren't interested in adopting the cat yourself, I would talk to a local rescue group and see if they would be interested in approaching the owner to see if he is willing to surrender the cat. If he isn't willing, though, I don't think there's much you can do legally unless there is proof of neglect or abuse.