Notorious Bellevue cat said to have killed ‘dozens’ of pets since 2012
What exactly did a notorious Bellevue cat named Miska do to cost the county tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees? According to one of Miska’s neighbors, the rap sheet is miles long.
Miska’s neighbor claims the cat has killed “dozens” of pets over the last seven years, including ducks, chickens, and rabbits. Reports from Animal Control acquired through a public disclosure request detail these allegations dating back to 2012, including reports of her “stalking” a neighborhood dog.
The neighbor’s account and the recently-released records provide another side to the developing story of Miska, a cat whose lawyer previously argued is being mistreated by the system.
A neighbor claims rabbits raised by her children had their “ears and tails ripped off through the wire of their hutches” by Miska, with chickens and ducks suffering similar fates over the years. In a video acquired by MyNorthwest, Miska can also be seen charging at a small dog.
Miska jumping at a neighborhood dog. (Courtesy)
In September of 2014, a “confinement order” was issued against Miska for her alleged crimes. That essentially amounted to house arrest, requiring that her owner keep her in a fenced area secured “with a padlock to prevent accidental release,” or leashed when outside the confines of her property.
Miska’s owner, Anna Danieli, took issue with the order, filing an appeal in October 2014. In the appeal, she claimed that over a two month period, she observed six other unconfined cats in the perimeter of her neighbor’s address, “including one closely resembling Miska in stripes and coloring.”
Danieli’s appeal went on to cite a lack of evidence to prove Miska truly was the culprit behind the various animal deaths. In a pair of cases before the King County Board of Appeals, however, board members twice pointed to a “preponderance of evidence” behind the issuance of fines for “vicious animal at large” charges. That evidence included several photos and videos of Miska chasing, attacking, and maiming other animals.
In November 2014, Miska was again picked up by Animal Control for killing neighborhood rabbits, and violating her confinement order. An investigation report details what happened when Danieli came to pick her up.
“(Danieli) stated it was her neighbor’s ‘fault’ for keeping prey animals,” the report reads. That report classified Miska’s alleged crimes as “vicious marauding,” a charge typically reserved for problematic dogs.
“She again stated she would not confine her cat as it would be ‘unhappy,'” the report continued.
A memo in the report also cites testimony claiming Danieli violated an agreement with Savannah Rescue to re-home the cat. The organization operates nationally to facilitate foster homes for surrendered cats, and has stringent requirements regarding outdoor pets.
“Savannah Rescue will not adopt our cats to homes that believe indoor/outdoor is the way cats should live,” Savannah Cat Rescue Director Kristine Alessio told MyNorthwest.
Alessio noted that the organization was contacted twice by Miska’s owner in 2014, who at the time was seeking to surrender her “because she was outside and killing animals.”
In 2015, her owner signed surrender forms, but later refused to release Miska to her new family when they arrived at Danieli’s home.
“This was extremely frustrating to us, as we were ready to get Miska into a home where she was not free roaming,” said Alessio. “Months of correspondence and then determining a great new home came to nothing.”
Afterwards, the organization explained to Miska’s owner that she should still not be permitted to roam around outside. It never heard back from Danieli again.
Miska now sits at the heart of a lawsuit waged by Danieli, who argues that Animal Control has unfairly targeted the notorious cat.
“This is pretty wild, because plenty of cats are outside and are allegedly trespassing in Bellevue, but none have been treated, or mistreated, in a way that Miska has,” Seattle attorney Jon Zimmerman told The Candy, Mike and Todd Show in April. Zimmerman is representing the cat and her owner. “Over 50 or so violations have been issued to allegedly trespassing cats. More than 30 have been issued to Miska.”