Cat stolen from Puyallup PetSmart: ‘What are they going to do with my cat?’

A person was caught on camera in a Puyallup PetSmart store stealing one of the cats that was up for adoption.

The thief broke a lock on the cat's cage, then stuffed the animal in a backpack and walked out the door.

"I’m really scared for Rylie’s safety," said Diana VanDusen, of Horn Creek Rescue.

She says it was just before closing when the person headed into the store, making a beeline for the cat adoption center area.

"Why did this person choose to steal her, of all the cats in the center?" asked VanDusen.

She says the person went directly for Rylie, the two-year-old tabby with beautiful green eyes and a sunny personality to match. She is pictured below.

"Super friendly, she’s a cat that sticks her paw out and bats at everybody who goes in and out of the center," said VanDusen.

When she saw her empty cage Wednesday morning, her heart sank.

"I went back in and noticed damage to the cage, and I’m like, ‘Oh boy’. I said, ‘Can we check the cameras? We’ve got a missing cat and I don’t know what’s going on,’" said VanDusen.

After reviewing security video, an employee posted some clips on social media, asking for help identifying the person. That was later taken down. However, VanDusen says she was able to obtain still images to share.

After looking over the pictures, she felt that the large hat and the flannel shirt that the person was wearing were part of a disguise.

"It's too warm to be wearing a flannel. So, they knew what they were going to do," said VanDusen.

Rylie's head could be seen sticking out of a backpack, as she was stolen from the store. Her adoption fee was $175 but with other shelters offering discounted adoptions. VanDusen questions the motive.

"It makes me think they are not taking the animal as a pet. What are they going to do with my cat?," said VanDusen.

She says Rylie isn't the first cat to go missing from a PetSmart location.

"Tess was stolen from there," said VanDusen. "Ironically, around the same time."

Tess the kitten was never found, though VanDusen filed a police report.

A kitten named Black Velvet was also stolen from a Lakewood PetSmart a few months ago. VanDusen also contacted Lakewood Police following that incident.

VanDusen says Rylie had recently been healing from spay surgery and had a shaved tummy. She was also due for another round of vaccines, all of which worried her.

"This isn’t an item that got stolen. This is a living being that was stolen," said VanDusen. "I just pray I get my cat back."

VanDusen says they will have to increase security. She says cages will now have to be double-locked and the adoption center will likely have to close to those without an appointment.

She says if you have any information on where Rylie might be, or who the person is that took her, contact Puyallup Police. VanDusen says you can also reach out to her at the Horn Creek Rescue. 


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