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September 30, 2013 at 10:00 AMComments: 7 Faves: 0

Cat-Napper or Feline Friend? A Woman Is Arrested After Trying to Rescue a Sick Cat

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This Author

An interesting article posted to the New York Daily News website today offers a prime example of the complex nature of right and wrong and the difference between legality and morality. One police man’s cat-napper is another cat lover’s hero!

What do you think? Was justice served? And if not, how could it be? Read on and weigh in.

This past Sunday, Nancy Glassman (pictured above with her own kitty, Lovely) stopped into Bagels & Co. to use the restroom when she noticed a black and white cat with ears that were swollen up like balloons. “They looked five times too big,” said Nancy who was immediately concerned with his well being.

An adamant cat lover, she had just managed to snap a photo to show a vet before a worker noticed her, quickly grabbed a broom, and shooed the cat away to the back of the store.

Now they’re trying to hide him?!

Nancy wasn’t going to let them get away with neglecting care that easily.

“What’s wrong with the cat?” she pressed the worker. The worker, clearly uncomfortable with the confrontation refused to answer. Instead, he shrugged, pointed at the back door, and challenged her. You have a problem?  “Take the cat!” he exclaimed.

When you see something like that, what else are you supposed to do?

As she told the Daily News “I’m gonna help. I can’t see walking away.” Whether or not he actually expected her to take him up on the offer, Nancy, by now fully incensed, did just that. She bent down, took the kitty into her arms, went out the back door, and immediately brought him to an animal clinic for treatment. If they couldn’t be bothered to care for the poor little guy, she would.

She had been home waiting for the vet’s call for two hours when detectives from NYPD’s 19th Precinct rang the bell. Justice! Obviously, those store owners were going to have to answer for their negligence, right? When Nancy opened the door and was asked to come identify the cat, she was happy to oblige. “I thought they were investigating the owner of the store,” she told reporters. That was, until she was handcuffed, arrested, and locked in jail for the night.

She couldn't believe what was happening.

“I thought I did nothing wrong...So, if I see a child or an animal that’s in distress, I’m supposed to just leave them there?”

“Yup,” said the officer, “You just leave it and call 911.”

Facing Time

Despite a clean record and her good intentions, Nancy is currently being charged with felony burglary and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. Despite their negligence and the fact that keeping cats in a store is a sanitary violation, the black and white cat, Costco was apprehended from the clinic and returned to his owner without care.

While an outraged public has been pleading for Nancy and her attorney, Peter Gleason, says “The charges need to be dropped and an apology issued,” the NYPD remain unmoved. One even cracked a pun while publicly addressing questions about the case. “There’s no pussyfooting around it… You can’t just walk into a store and walk out with someone else’s cat — or any other property for that matter.”

Youal Aroety, the worker who called the police, couldn’t be reached for comment, but reporters quickly uncovered his reason for keeping the cat in the first place. Among a long list of other violations, city health inspection records found evidence of rodents just weeks before the incident.

According to the vets that saw Costco, he has a congenital deformity and is so ill, he will likely die soon. Whether he finally gets the home he deserves before that happens, the store owners are cited for health violations and neglect, and Nancy is pardoned from her charges, are all questions that remain to be seen.


New York Daily News: Cat lover tries to rescue ailing kitty — then gets arrested by upper East Side cops 

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  • As much as we all love Batman, vigilante justice isn't justice. In the legal system that has been created around us, it is necessary to let the police do their job. Now, grand theft feline seems a little strong for trying to help. And if the person actually told her to take it, then the case should be open-and-shut. But, of course, getting them to admit to that in court will be difficult. It will be interesting to watch where this goes and see if she serves time for stealing an ill cat. But, on that note, the idea that she would also swipe children if they are being neglected is exactly the problem. CPS is set up for a reason. We are not supposed to relieve people of their children. There are government agencies in place to do that for us. Of course, this is without looking at the morality of it all, of which the government leaves out completely.

  • great story Erin, I was surprised how it turned out, I mean how did they ever find this lady? I still wonder what was wrong with Costco, but I agree with Rex it will be interesting to see if she serves time for taking the cat.

  • While the nature of the system makes the case fairly straight forward legally speaking, it's a tricky scenario to judge from a moral standpoint. I mean, if you were in the same scenario - you happened to be in a store where you saw a sick cat that people didn't seem to care about and you were dared to take it - would you feel good about walking away without it?

    Even if you called the police, the legal system is notorious for their leniency with abusive and neglectful pet owners and parents. I mean, someone HAD actually saw the cat before and did nothing but issue a warning. Meanwhile, there's an animal suffering.

    Though I agree we can't just have people running around exacting whatever they think qualifies as justice, like you said, given the facts in this particular case, burglary seems like an awfully steep charge. I hope Nancy is pardoned.

  • Thanks, Nancy!

    I'm guessing the police probably got her information from the clinic she dropped the cat off at.

    I'm also curious about the exact details of Costco's illness, but I shared all I could find.

    While generally, people shouldn't be allowed to steal pets, given the particulars of this case, it seems awfully harsh that she would have to serve time. I hope that doesn't happen!

  • I don't disagree, morally. I think that health and well-being should be tops on everyone's list, but that isn't the system we live in. But, we shall see if the judicial system learned anything since the great McDonald's coffee debacle a decade ago. Strict adherence to the letter of the law ruins a lot of things.

  • "Strict adherence to the letter of the law ruins a lot of things."

    Totally agree. Laws are supposed to protect the greater good. How can that be done without consideration of context?

  • Sadly, I doubt very much the police would put this on their "priority" list of to-dos that day, if she had called them (not saying she shouldn't have). The cat would have been left to suffer, just like it is currently now. My point is this, since the cat was returned to Mr. Kitty-Neglect, why didn't the police step in then upon hearing what the vet shared about the kitty's fate to remove this cat from this owner. Charges should be dropped, this owner's crime is far greater then what she did. He is intentionally neglecting this cat's well-being/health.

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