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March 16, 2012 at 10:18 AMComments: 6 Faves: 0

Owner Ties Up Cat To Rest and Wait for Him - Animal Cruelty?

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the The Scratchpad Blog Series

Today in the news, a 19-year old boy was tried for animal cruelty after tying his cat to a rock halfway through a run. But, could what he did really be called abuse?

Seth Franco and his cat, Stella, found each other last October before he had graduated. He was strolling about his high school when he saw something in the distance. As he got closer, he realized it was a little kitten.

Said Seth, “She was tied up to a tree behind Boulder High School with a note that said, ‘I need a new home,’” His heart ached for her. He couldn't leave her there another minute. Deciding it was fate, he took her home and ever since then, they have stuck to each other like glue! They do everything together and are essentially inseparable - Stella even comes with him on his jogs! 

Adorable, right? However, one day this routine did present a problem.

As he started out his usual jog, Stella was running at a good pace, but then she started to get a little tired. “She ran about 45 percent of the way and then it was so hot she started panting real bad,” said Franco.

Franco wanted to finish his jog, but he didn’t want to make his cat do more than she could or leave her behind and risk her wandering off and getting lost. So he tied her to a rock in the park to rest and wait for him while he finished up.

After he left however, passers-by saw the little kitty and became really upset. In fact, they called the police! By the time Franco returned to Stella, there was an angry mob awaiting him.

“They were yelling at me. Telling me I abuse my animal.” said Franco.

Some people said they saw crows attacking the cat, and that’s why they called the police. In the end, Franco was issued a ticket for animal cruelty. 

What do you think about this?

Was it animal cruelty?

Why or why not?


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  • Ok, first of all, who jogs with a cat? Tying any pet and leaving it unattended is putting it in harm's way, what if a dog attacked kitty, how would kitty escape? And if the crows were attacking poor kitty, she couldn't get was very irresponsible of him and obviously he has a lot of growing up to do. I think he deserved the ticket and hopefully he will think things through next time when it comes to making a decision about Stella and her well-being....please leave kitty at home and go for your run by yourself.....cats are sprinters in short distance, they are not long-distance runners, get a dog if you want a running buddy!

  • Re: the boy who irresponsibly tied his hot, tired kitty to a rock in order to continue on his long distance run: as a seasoned animal rescuer and founding member of a humane society, I have investigated and been confronted with some of the most egregious abuse and neglect imaginable. Many people do it out of malace, many out of ignorance, many out of mental illness. To try to justify a willful act of neglect which placed his cat in harms way without a possible means of escape from attack (not to mention human cruelty...many people HATE cats, and, had the wrong people found the cat, her fate could have been horrible...the boy is fortunate that she was discoverd by compassionate people!). As to running long distances with a cat, I completely agree with Victoria's comments...cats are absolutely not physically designed to run for sustained, long periods....making her do that was clearly an act of neglect,regardless of whether it was not intentional. Also, another salient point is the fact that the cat was extremely hot and tired and panting which, had the boy used his head, would have been a signal that the cat needed to be taken to a cool, resting place, and, protected....not left out in the open in the heat....cats can succumb to heat prostration just as any other living creature can! Again, though not a willful act of neglect, it is neverthless NEGLECT, out of ignorance, and a failure to exercise common sense. Having been a cruelty investigator for some years, I do not think he should be charged with animal abuse, but, most certainly, he should be charged with animal neglect, and, rather than merely a sitation, I think that he should have to do "community service" with a local veterinarian who would be willing to spend some time with the boy teaching him proper animal care. Clearly, he should not get off scott free from this mistake which could have ended in a tragedy.

  • I agree. Not sure about the laws on letting pets roam free where this took place, but my parents have a cat that loves being outside. They sometimes go for walks, but the cat isn't on a leash; he can follow at his own pace, running ahead to climb a tree, running back to get home faster, or chill in a neighbor's yard to rest for a bit. Jogging for long stretches sounds more like something a dog would enjoy, but cats are smart and should be left to make up their own minds about following you.

  • I actually think if the cat could not keep up (which hopefully this wasn't the first run for this kitty) he should 1. leave her home. 2. turn around and call it quits. Your pet should come first as appose to leaving her tied up (unsafe). I've taken my dog with me on a run (okay jog) and when she got tired I picked her up and carried her for a while.

  • Wow, the kid is 19 people and probably lacking in the friend department, as a cat is the only running partner he can come up with. He's is still at the ripe age of idiocy, and I'm sure if the cop wasn't surrounded by an ignorant, angry mob, he would have called the kid as such and let him on his way.
    So quick are we pet owners, to point the finger at mistakes made by other owners. No doubt, mistakes have been made by each and every one of us, a dog left outside too long, the wrong food, an allergic reaction to a treat we weren't paying attention to, a dog that ran off because we weren't paying attention, etc.
    I say kudos for saving the kittens life and choosing to be a doting parent. I can forgive the one mistake, knowing that death may have been awaiting that kitten tied to a tree behind a school.

  • Amen.... E.M. Wollof

    Just like in biblical times we get off on judging others! Nothing changes you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

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