West Hollywood resident Kim Byers has not given up hope for the safe return of Miss Kitty, a semi-feral cat that was stolen from her front porch on Sunday, May 22, 2022, at 4:35 p.m., on North Vista Street, near Plummer Park. Ring camera footage captured a suspect placing Miss Kitty in a pet carrier. A website has been created, www.misskittyweho.com, and thanks to the support of the community, she’s now able to offer a $5,000 reward for the safe return of her cat.
Byers spoke during public comment at a regular West Hollywood city council meeting last night to advocate for the safety of other pets. She also requested cameras be installed at Plummer Park.
“Someone walked up my porch and stole my cat, Miss Kitty, from her bed, while she was curled up sleeping.” she told the city council. “I know this because my ring camera caught it. Miss Kitty tried to resist, but she’s old and mostly deaf. She didn’t have a chance.”
She said the incident was reported to the sheriffs, she reached out to the community, flyers were made, and a reward started at $1,000. Local media also covered the story.
“When trying to get more footage, there wasn’t any available,” she said. “Personally, I’m adding more cameras to my property and I’d like to ask the community to do so as well. It not only provides additional security for yourself, but it helps your neighbors. We need to do all we can to protect each other.”
Byers said she asked for video footage of an Ukraine fundraiser that took place at Plummer Park when her cat was stolen. She was shocked to learn that there are no security cameras at the park. She urged the council to reconsider placing security cameras throughout the property of Plummer Park for the safety of the community. In the seven years she has lived in West Hollywood, Miss Kitty is the third theft she’s had to report.
Byers was also shocked to learn that all pet thefts are classified as petty thefts and only if the thief is arrested could it be changed to grand theft if the buyer of the pet deems it warranted.
“As anyone who loves an animal knows, pets are family,” she added. “Unless the law recognizes this, pet theft and animal torture is going to continue. We need to protect the vulnerable.”
Byers, told WEHO TIMES that Miss Kitty was not at her usual spot the day she was taken. After a day without a sign of Miss Kitty, she played back her Ring camera footage and found a 30-second snippet showing a stranger in her front porch putting the sleeping cat into a pet carrier.
“The person came with a pet carrier, so it looks like it was premeditated” Byers she said. “We have no idea who it is. It kind of strikes me as someone who was on foot, but it’s hard to tell. From what I could tell Miss Kitty was asleep in her heated bed and this person grabbed her before she had a chance to wake up.”
Byers says Miss Kitty is really fragile and quite old. The neighborhood on Vista Street knows the cat well. She was a catch, fix, and release about 14 years ago.
“If you are the person who took her, please just place her back in her bed which is waiting for her,” she posted on her Facebook page. “NO QUESTIONS.”
Miss Kitty was taken during the City of West Hollywood inaugural Pet Week, which includes a Feline Day. Anyone with any information on the stolen cat on N Vista Street in West Hollywood can text or leave a message with info at: (424) 625-8086, email [email protected], or contact Detective Brian Huezo, [email protected]/310-358-4026 at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station.