Missing local cat adopted via OSPCA, but original owners want him back

CORNWALL, Ontario – When Speed Racer, a loveable Moose Creek cat named after the movie, walked away from his home a few days ago his owners weren’t overly concerned.

Speed Racer had gone on adventures in the past, and always came home.

But when he stayed away, the Leroux family learned that he had been turned in at the Cornwall OSPCA office and ultimately adopted by another owner, they were heart-broken.

The Lerouxs are now hoping by going public the new owners will learn that their cat is dearly missed in another home.

“They might love him but they only had him less than a week,” said Crystal Daye-Leroux, who along with her husband Jamie and children owned the cat. “We have six years of memories and love.

“(My) boys have been in tears (and) our dog keeps looking for him. My husband is not sleeping – it just sucks.”

Jamie agrees.

“It’s been a rough couple of days,” he said. “We are overwhelmed with the support we are receiving from complete strangers.

“Can you imagine the story (Speed Racer) would tell you if he could talk.”

The OSPCA has privacy rules in place that keep it from divulging the identities of people who adopt pets. In an email to the Lerouxs Carol Link, manager of the Cornwall OSPCA office, said her hands are tied.

“We get them fixed and vetted and adopted out as soon as we can so that others can be moved and adopted out quickly as well,” she wrote. “And they do not have to spend time in the shelter. There was no way of identifying this cat as belonging to anyone, so we did what we thought was best for him.”

There was a ray of hope when the Lerouxs found an online ad with a picture of Speed Racer, but the individual who posted the item did not return messages until after the animal had been turned over to the OSPCA.

The family is willing to pay any costs the new owners of Speed Racer might have incurred, including adoption fees.

They can be reached at 613-551-7916, or email at lerouxcj@hotmail.com.

Link referred calls on this local matter to the OSPCA’s provincial offices. Allison Cross, OSPCA spokesperson, could not immediately provide answers to specific questions on this issue (including how long  the cat was in care), but said generally the agency suggests animals get microchipped.

“If there is no identification, we have to give that animal a chance at a second home,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to say how often this happens…but we do encourage people to microchip your pet so this does not happen.

“Especially if you let your cat outdoors.”

Microchipping an animal involves a minor surgical procedure where a chip with identifying information is placed within an animal. The chip can then be scanned if the animal goes missing.

Cross said an animal can spend between five and eight days at an OSPCA branch, depending on its circumstances. If the animal is fixed and generally healthy its stay is shorter, but if it requires care or surgery that length of time can increase.

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