Tyson the one-time lost cat is probably warm and cozy right now in his new home. He may even have a new name.
But his previous owners, an Offutt Air Force Base couple, want him back at their place, insisting that the lost kitty should not have been put up for adoption by the Nebraska Humane Society.
“He’s a member of our family,’’ said Marissa Starr, 23, an airman first class. “He’s irreplaceable.’’
Tyson disappeared from the Starrs’ Bellevue home Nov. 21. Later, he turned up at the Humane Society facility at 90th and Fort Streets in northwest Omaha.
Pam Wiese of the Nebraska Humane Society said the cat was at the facility for 21 days before his adoption. It had been in a kennel for strays or lost cats for three days, then assessed, given an ID microchip, treated for a respiratory problem and finally moved into an adoptable kennel, she said.
Tyson came to the Humane Society without a microchip or a license tag.
The Starrs checked the Humane Society’s website periodically, clicking on the adoptable animals tab instead of the stray or lost tab, where they would have found their cat before it was moved into the adoptable kennels late in its stay at the facility, Wiese said.
Marissa’s husband, Robert, 22, a senior airman, visited the Humane Society, Wiese said, but checked the adoptable kennels and not the stray or lost kennels, where the cat was being kept for most of his stay.
“He should have said (to Humane Society staff): ‘I lost my cat, What do I do’’’ to get it back, she said, instead of just checking the adoptable kennels and the website’s adoptable tab.
If the Starrs had been a little more clear with Humane Society staff on details of the cat’s disappearance, Wiese said, odds are that the pet would have been located at the facility and returned to the Starrs.
Marissa Starr said she finally spotted Tyson on the Humane Society’s website after adoption hours, asked staff to hold Tyson but was told to call back the next day around noon. Starr said she called back, only to learn that Tyson had gone to a new home.
The Humane Society’s website refreshes once an hour, Wiese said, and Tyson had already been adopted when Marissa spotted him.
The cat’s new family has grown attached to it, Wiese said, and doesn’t want to give up the pet.
“Legally, they (the new family) own it,’’ she said, “and there really isn’t anything we can do.”
“We return 5,000 animals a year’’ without any problems, Wiese said.