This Unemployed Homeless Woman Is Suing An Animal Shelter For Taking Her Cats

Helen Hatat

Photo: Helen Hatat

Earlier this year we asked long-term unemployed Americans to share their stories with us. One person who reached out to us was Helen Hatat, a French-born woman who lost her job in public relations in 2009 and soon found herself homeless as well.Now Hatat is dealing with another problem: The animal shelter has her cats and it won’t give them back.

This isn’t normally the type of story we cover at Business Insider, but what the heck.

Hatat says she asked her friend, Mary Zupan, to care for her flock of cats in 2009. But Zupan soon brought the cats to C.A.R.E., a southern California animal rescue.

Hatat tried to get her cats back, but C.A.R.E. refused, saying she lost legal rights to the cats.

So Hatat took them to court, filing a small claims case asking not only for the return of her cats, but for $7,500 in damages.

She also took the Internet, writing a petition bashing C.A.R.E.

“We have no clue where my cats are,” Hatat said. “We have no clue if the are dead, if they are alive.”

In response, C.A.R.E. filed a countersuit asking for $200,000 in damages. The suit claims personal injury, defamation and monetary damages.

In response to C.A.R.E.’s suit, Hatat filed a cross complaint, citing emotional distress.

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