Catnapping leaves Red Deer pet agency worried over fate of sick kitten

A kitten is missing and a man is wanted by police after a catnapping at a Red Deer pet store.

The thief stuffed the kitten into his jacket before fleeing the Petland store last Friday, Erica Coomber, director of operations at Alberta Animal Services told CBC News Wednesday. 

"He proceeded to go into our cat area and opened one of cat kennels," Coomber said. "He took one of our kittens and he put it in his jacket and he fled the store."

The two-month-old kitten, named Kennedy, was not yet up for adoption because it's being treated for a respiratory infection and requires medication.

Kennedy's respiratory condition could worsen and even become fatal if she doesn't get proper treatment, Coomber said.

"If he really wanted the kitten, I just don't know why he didn't talk to us and maybe we could have helped him in that way if he really wanted to adopt the kitten," she said, adding she doesn't think the man intends to hurt the kitten.

An area of Petland stores is set aside as an adoption centre in partnership with Alberta Animal Services where homeless cats and dogs are sent in hopes of finding them a home.

She's urging the man or anyone in contact with Kennedy to drop the kitten off at any pet store, where animal services can retrieve the sick cat.

This is the first time since the agency partnered with Petland in 2011 that a kitten up for adoption has been stolen from a store, Coomber said.

Police believe the man suspected of stealing the kitten was captured on surveillance video and are asking anyone who recognizes the man to get in touch with them.