By Amy Dominello
Friday, July 20, 2007
Normally, pets aren’t allowed during sales at Ray’s Southern Auto Auction.
So a big cat – either a bobcat or a lynx – in the back of a minivan naturally created a big stir Thursday night.
A man who was attending the auction decided to bring the cat he was “cat-sitting” for, said Greg Gambler, a lot manager for Ray’s, located at 2401 Montreal Ave., just north of Alamance Church Road.
Word began to spread throughout the auction that a big cat was in a minivan in the parking lot, Gambler said.
The cat was in the minivan with the windows vented and was more than a little irritated to be locked in the van in Thursday’s 95-degree heat, Gambler said.
The cat kept scratching at the windows, he said. “It was kind of unbelievable to see.”
Sandy Ellington, a spokeswoman for Guilford County Animal Control, said a man was walking by the van when the big cat swiped at him at about 8 p.m. The man was not injured and it’s unclear whether the man provoked the male cat, which is declawed, she said.
The man called animal control officials, who confiscated the cat and brought it to the county’s animal shelter. The cat was in good condition, she said.
The cat is an exotic animal, which is illegal to have in Guilford County, Ellington said.
Gambler said the cat seemed tame and jumped out of the van as soon as the door was opened.
“It was as gorgeous as it could be,” he said. “But it was pretty wrong to leave it in there.”
The owner of the van told officials the cat belongs to his sister in Georgia. She is traveling here today to retrieve the cat, Ellington said.
But if the cat is illegal to have in the woman’s Georgia residence, officials will be unable to turn the cat over to her, Ellington said.
If that happens, the owner can take the cat to a place where it is legal to have the cat or the county will turn the cat over to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to be relocated.
Ellington said she would not release the names of those involved.
The owner of the van received a $50 citation for mistreatment of animals. His sister, the owner of the cat, may also be cited, she said.
Contact Amy Dominello at 373-7091 or firstname.lastname@example.org