Bart, the "zombie cat" who stole headlines when he rose from grave after being presumed dead is back in the news. This time, he's the subject of a custody battle.
A couple of weeks ago, Bart's story went viral. His owner, 52-year-old Ellis Hutson, said he found Bart in the middle of the road, covered in blood, and completely lifeless. Assuming the cat was dead, Hutson enlisted a friend to help bury the feline.
Flash forward five days, and Bart was spotted in a neighbor's yard – alive but badly wounded.
Bart was taken in by the Humane Society of Tampa, and on January 27 the cat had surgery to repair his jaw and remove his eye, which was damaged beyond repair. He was scheduled to be returned to his owner in 5-7 days.
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsBayArea) February 11, 2015
But on January 30, the Humane society issued an update, saying they "learned new information about Bart's home enviorment" and would be keeping the cat under their care.
"Recently we have learned new information about Bart’s home environment and the circumstances leading up to his burial. Therefore, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay does not intend to return Bart to the Hutson family. We are prepared to fight for the best interests of this cat. We hope the Hutson family will do the right thing and surrender Bart to our care so that we can find an appropriate environment for him to live out his life," said the Tampa Humane Society in a blog post.
And now Hutson has filed a motion against the Humane Society.
"On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay was served with official Hillsborough County Court documents notifying the Society that it is being sued by Ellis Wayne Hutson for the custody of Bart the cat," the organization said"
"Mr. Thomas Gonzalez, of Thompson Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing, has agreed to volunteer his time to represent the interests of Sherry Silk, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, and Bart the cat. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will review all legal options to keep Bart safe and secure. Bart continues his medical treatment and care at the Society’s animal hospital."
Hutson says that the Humane Society is hanging on to Bart as a fundraising tool. He also said the organization won't allow him to see his pet.
Image via Humane Society Tampa Bay