I went to the animal shelter to get a pet cat, but was told it was actually a semi-wild animal — and cost $900
An influencer has aired her battle with an animal shelter after claiming she was charged $900 to adopt a cat.
With over three million followers on TikTok, Chole Mitchell (@ChloeVMitchell) has shared her adventure with her new cat, Puka, from her decision to adopt the pet to bringing her home.
Mitchell said she visited several animal shelters in West Michigan to find the perfect cat to adopt before finding Puka, originally named Heart, at the Noah Project in Muskegon.
Mitchell visited Puka several times before eventually adopting her, but said she was surprised by the price.
“I found the one cat in West Michigan that costs $900,” she said in a video before adopting Puka.
“I fell in love with this cat. This is my second day seeing her. I come here early, no one gets her but me.”
She added that the shelter told her the cat cost $900 because she was a “fifth generation African Savannah cat,” which is “super rare.”
“This is life-changing money,” Mitchell said.
However, many of Mitchell’s viewers questioned the claim that Puka was a rare breed, and several claimed she was actually just a gray tabby.
“I hate to say this, but she is NOT an African Savannah cat,” one person wrote. “Look at them, they are deff [sic] a unique breed but looks like a tabby mix you keep.”
“She’s a tabby. I would ask for a genetic text, no way is she a Savannah,” another person wrote. “Even if she is, it’s a shelter… she shouldn’t be $900.”
Others were shocked at the price the shelter was charging for a rescue cat.
“It should be illegal for a shelter to charge that much!” wrote one person.
Another wrote: “CALL THEM OUT a shelter shouldn’t charge that much to adopt them!!”
“They don’t adopt her for $900. They’re selling them,” wrote another person. “And no, she doesn’t look like a Savannah.”
While Mitchell didn’t name the shelter in any of her videos, her viewers learned that Puka was acquired by the Noah Project, which has drawn widespread criticism online.
But the shelter says the flack is unfair and unjustified given Puka’s medical costs.
In a Facebook post, Noah Project explained that the cat’s high price has nothing to do with the breed.
“The cats came to us from a pensioner who bought the mothers from a breeder – she had too many litters to help and it was overwhelming,” the post reads.
“They were ill and needed medical care, each costing over $500 plus $60 a week on an all-meat diet. All of our animals leave here repaired and with all vaccinations and preventatives, as well as microchipped.
“It all costs money. Nobody makes a profit here, everything goes back to the animal shelter for medical care, food, etc.”
The shelter added that the high price is due to people not reselling the breed at a higher price, and that Mitchell is “more than welcome to get a DNA test.”
“It’s not what we usually do, it’s not the usual price. We are a small no-kill animal shelter. We love all of our animals and do everything we can to keep them alive and healthy.”
While speaking to MLive, Mitchell said she “didn’t have the smartest vetting process on my end, I wanted a little furry animal,” adding that she was unfamiliar with Puka’s alleged cat breed.
She said she used the money she made from the TikTok Creator Fund to buy the cat.
“I didn’t need much justification. It made me the perfect person to take advantage of. It just sucks.”
However, Noah project lead Mashele Garrett-Arndt said Mitchell is not truthful about the situation.
“I’m so pissed off because not only is she lying about this story, but she’s also making a profit out of it,” said Garrett-Arndt.
“These cats were from an elderly woman in her 80’s who bought and over bred these cats and couldn’t handle the situation. They all had medical issues and that’s why they cost $900.”
She added that the Noah Project cat adoption fee is $150, but the price can vary based on the animal’s medical needs.
Garrett-Arndt added that the cats have “some Savannah in them,” but doesn’t know how much.
She said she was not given any records of the cats when they were surrendered and only has the information the woman who surrendered the cats gave to the shelter.
“I feel like she (Mitchell) got that cat as a stunt for her followers,” Garrett-Arndt said. “She specifically asked about this cat. We were told she was an African Savannah cat, but we don’t know.”
The US Sun has reached out to Mitchell, Garrett-Arndt and Noah Project for comment.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7702797/tiktok-noah-project-cat-adoption-chloe-mitchell/ I went to the animal shelter to get a pet cat, but was told it was actually a semi-wild animal — and cost $900