Ottawa shelter may sue over $11,000 cat condos

OTTAWA — The time for talking is over, Vicki Whitacre said, and the time for legal action is here.

Whitacre, board member for Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, said the shelter is looking into suing a company that failed to deliver a key component of the shelter's new facility on K-68 — a large order of cat condos.

The condos, which were ordered from Horst Co., should have been shipped weeks ago, she said. They would make up a large wall that could showcase up to 40 cats for adoption.

The shelter sent the company an $11,000 deposit for the cages, Whitacre said, and has not had any communication with the company for months.

"We'll probably contact the Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau and go those routes," Whitacre said.

The new facility opened to the public Tuesday, with the cats being housed in the shelter's old cages in rooms that were designated for other purposes, she said.

"I think the saddest thing is it's not going to be as easy for the public to see them now," Whitacre said. "That's what we were so excited about."

The $11,000 was a single donation to the shelter, Whitacre said, and the donor wanted the funds to go toward purchasing cat condos.

The shelter's lawyer sent the company a letter inquiring about the cages, Whitacre said, but received no response. Whitacre now wonders if the shelter will get its money back.

"We're probably standing in a line with other people who have had their money taken," she said. "What'd be nice is if they would talk to you. That's what's so frustrating. For them to say, 'Hey, we started them but don't have enough money to finish them.' If they would just let us know where they're at. I'm sure we could get some people to help finish them."

If the shelter does get the money back, Whitacre said, it likely will pursue another company to buy cat condos. If not, she's not sure what will happen.

"I guess we'll start trying to raise some money again," Whitacre said.