TikTok User Alleges an Animal Shelter May Have Scammed Her for a $900 Cat

TikTok user @chloevmitchell claims that an animal shelter charged her $900 for an "African Savannah" cat. Did she get scammed? Here's the tea.


Mar. 30 2023, Published 4:51 p.m. ET

The phrase "adopt, don't shop" is a national campaign encouraging aspiring pet owners to rescue their animals from an existing shelter rather than paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a "purebred" breeder that might focus more on profits than an animal's wellbeing.

However, that's not to say animal shelters can't scam their customers as well — TikTok user Chloe Mitchell could tell you a little about that.

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In a recent series of videos, Chloe claims she spent $900 to adopt a cat at the shelter. The shelter claims her cat is a rare "African Savannah" cat to justify the adoption fee. However, Chloe thinks she may have been scammed after the animal shelter reportedly refused to show her the breed paperwork. Here's everything you need to know about Chloe's situation, explained.

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Here's what you need to know about Chloe Mitchell's African Savannah cat scam saga on TikTok.

Chloe's journey began innocently enough. In a video posted on March 7, 2023, she announced to her TikTok followers that she would be searching for a cat to adopt as a "girl in her twenties who lives alone." From there, she embarked on her journey to several no-kill shelters and the local Humane Society, posting another video the same day with an adorable brown tabby cat.

In a follow-up video on March 8, the trouble begins. Chloe explains she was charged $900 to adopt the cat, with the shelter insisting the creature is a purebred "African Savannah" cat, which they claim is a rare breed.

According to Purina, a Savannah cat is a crossbreed of a domestic cat with a Serval, a type of African wild cat.

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Chloe also explains how the shelter justified putting a $900 price tag on the rescue. The shelter claims her cat was "rescued from a breeder, and the breeder had the paperwork and 5 African Savannah kittens. 4 of them have already been adopted, but I found the last one."

Chloe also says she asked the shelter for a DNA test, to which they said no. Suspicious, Chloe adopts the cat but says she will conduct her own DNA test to determine whether she was scammed.

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On March 20, Chloe filmed a phone call with the shelter, which called to confront her about her videos. They asked if she could defend them from the negative comments that flooded their pages thanks to the cost of the cat.

Chloe says she never put the shelter's name online, but she would be performing a DNA test. In the video, Chloe adds that the shelter claimed they would text her the paperwork proving her cat's pedigree, but they never did.

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Then, on March 24, Chloe performed the test on the cat, now named Puka. Chloe also continues to state she has not seen the shelter's breed verification paperwork, which they refuse to email or text her, but they now claim the cost of Puka was due to her "medical bills" rather than her breed. Chloe also notes the shelter did not mention medical fees when she adopted Puka.

Finally, Chloe notes that the DNA testing will take four weeks, but she is hoping that the company, Base Paws, will help move the submission up in line.

Fans will have to wait and find out whether Puka is really an "African Savannah" when the results come back!

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