May 20—A lawsuit has been filed this week in connection to a missing cat that has caused accusations to be leveled.
Susan Ferrara filed the suit with Aiken Summary Court on Monday, alleging the defendant, Jane Ellenberg, had taken Ferrara's cat Lucy and refused to release the cat or return her.
Camille Godwin, an attorney representing Ellenberg, said this situation is a misunderstanding and Ellenberg does not have Lucy, who has been missing since around May 3.
Neighbors around Ferrara have banded together and started an effort to "free Lucy." Signs can be seen in the yards of several homes in the neighborhood along Whiskey Road.
According to Godwin, Ellenberg had the feline in her home for one night, as she was going to take the cat to the veterinarian. Ellenberg asked the vet to scan the cat and see if it had an owner; Ellenberg understood from the vet's office that the cat did not have a chip, which would have identified the owner.
At this point, Ellenberg was planning on leaving town for an extended period of time and was concerned that, if something happened to the cat, no one would take care of it. As such, Ellenberg had her chip inserted into Lucy so that she could be contacted if something happens and could pay for the cat's care, Godwin said.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendant had the cat's ownership record transferred with a new microchip.
Godwin emphasized that Ellenberg never asked the veterinarian to remove a chip; she was told no chip was found.
As for the accusation that Ellenberg trapped Lucy, Ellenberg denies this.
"The whole trapping situation came because there's an orange cat that also hangs around the neighborhood and they were trying to catch that cat to take it in and get it neutered and vaccinated," Godwin said.
The Aiken Department of Public Safety searched Ellenberg's house with her cooperation and verified that Lucy was not there, according to Lt. Jennifer Hayes. Hayes said it is still an open case and anyone with information about the cat is urged to come forward.
"It's turned into something crazy and I think everyone is assuming things that just aren't true," Godwin said.
Ferrara declined to comment Thursday.