GREEN ISLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A kitten that was mistakenly adopted out by a local animal shelter will be returned to the family that fostered the cat.
TJ Heimel and his family bottle fed and bonded with a foster kitten named Panda for the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Menands. They had planned on adopting Panda, but the kitten had to be neutered first because the shelter requires cats to be spayed and neutered.
But his family’s hopes were destroyed when the shelter mistakenly adopted out the cat to another family.
Officials at the MHHS say it all happened when the kitten was brought in to be neutered. A staff member forgot to pass along information that Heimel’s family wished to adopt the kitten they had been fostering.
“We’re supposed to get a call when they are done with that and we never got a call that day. So we called them to see what was going on. And at that point they told us they made a mistake and they adopted it out to another family,” Heimel said.
“It was just a clerical error on out part that we have apologized for. We have accepted responsibility for. That message was lost in communication with our staff,” Mike Buckley, of the MHHS, said.
Buckley says a staff member who was aware of Heimel’s request to adopt Panda, unfortunately, didn’t communicate those wishes with the rest of the staff.
The shelter says they have changed their process to make sure that their staff is better communicating with volunteers who work with foster families who wish to adopt.
MHHS contacted Panda’s new owners and say they are not sure if they are willing to part with the kitten. They also made an offer of another kitten to Heimel and his family, but so far, they have declined to accept it.
But Wednesday night, Heimel was contacted by the family who adopted Panda. Heimel told NEWS10 ABC he would be meeting with the new owner on Thursday to get Panda back.