Tuesday 17 June 2014

Trespassing Cats: A Neighbourly Battle Of Biblical Proportions

Lady releases trapped cat
It happens everywhere especially, as far as I can tell, in the United States of America.  A neighbour likes cats and looks after lots of them. She can't help it. She just loves cats too much and can't stop herself from helping them.

Her next door neighbour either dislikes cats or is neutral about them.  His young boy is allergic to cats. His neighbour's cats wander into his yard. They urinate in his yard and occasionally defecate there as well. He puts up with it but after a while he decided to put down traps then take the cats that are trapped to the local rescue centre.

The cat loving neighbour finds out that she is missing some cats and then discovers what is happening so at 4 in the morning she sneaks out of her property onto her neighbour's property and releases the trapped cats. The person who trapped the cats figures out something is going on because he knows the cats were in the traps at one stage.

We have the makings of a war between neighbours which is something to be avoided at all costs.

Anyway the guy who set the traps sets up surveillance cameras to record what happens at 4 in the morning when his neighbour comes onto this property to release the cats he has trapped. He uses the video material to tell the police what has happened and she ends up facing what in America is called a “criminal trespass charge" for walking onto her neighbour's property.

Trespass is normally a tort meaning a civil wrong and not a crime. In addition, I do know what crime she has committed. Opening traps? Perhaps she damaged the traps.

This must be an American law.  Anyway she will probably end up with a criminal record and the guy who got her prosecuted will end up with an extremely angry neighbour who will carry on doing exactly the same thing as you did before.

No one's a winner, everyone's a loser.  The answer has to be a common sense answer which is that the lady who'd like to look after cats continues to do so but at the same time respects her neighbour's rights and wishes in order to keep the peace with her neighbour. I say that being a cat lover but even cat lovers need to respect other people's rights.

Being a cat lover does not trump everything: the behaviour of a cat lover has to fit in with society just like the behaviour of everybody else.

This is not a made up story but a real one. The lady who looked after the cat is Jean Kerdock-Locke and her neighbor is Ben Sanchez. The live in southeast Albuquerque, USA.


  1. So much grief could have been avoided if Ben had gone to Jean and told her of his intentions to trap and remove her cats if they were not better supervised. It wouldn't have been a pleasant scenario, I'm sure; but, matters are always worse when there is deception like Ben secretly trapping.
    I believe that criminal tresspassing is a misdemeanor here. And, if the traps were county property (on loan from animal control/the county shelter), tampering with, destoying, or relocating any are in violation of an ordinance that could escalate to a criminal charge.

    1. Thank you Dee. I wondered what criminal trespassing was but as you say it is probably because she trespassed and did some damage whilst she was trespassing although it must be a very small amount of damage.

      I totally agree that all this could have been avoided with good communication and this lady had been a bit more careful really about what her cats were doing. It's common sense really. It got out of hand but you know some people who like cats and look after lots of cats can be a bit intransigent sometimes. Perhaps it is because they feel under siege and therefore are in a fighting mode! I admire this lady and I'm sure she does a lot of good for cat but she has to do a bit more to try and keep the peace with her neighbours.

    2. Wow. You morons just don't get it do you. You throw your cats to the curb with as much concern for them as yesterday's trash, and then you expect people to care about your trash cats. The ONLY time you whine is if they die from your own neglect, then you throw a tantrum and blame the world for what became of your OWN negligence.

      I wasted 15 years of my life trying to reason with cat-lickers by me. The ONLY thing they finally understood were all their cats being shot dead. And even that didn't stop them from adopting more and letting them roam free. They kept adopting more for me to shoot for them even while they heard all their other cats being shot to death and even as they walked up and down the roads crying out the names of their last batch of missing cats. This is why it took 2 seasons to be rid of every last one of them, they wouldn't stop what they were doing even when their cats were being shot right in front of them.

      You think that that neighbor didn't talk to her about her lack of respect for every living thing around her? You can bet he did. And it didn't change one damn thing. The ONLY thing that works is destroying every last one of your cats. Then and only then will you cretins stop what you are doing. And if not? Then we just keep destroying them for you -- UNTIL YOU LEARN YOUR *MUCH* DESERVED LESSON AT LONG LAST.

  2. If the truth be known. That could be my butt in the air too.


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