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Woman Convicted of Putting Contract Out on Neighbor’s Cat

January 4, 1985

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) _ A woman has been sentenced to 60 hours of community service work after being convicted of putting out a contract to kidnap a neighbor’s cat.

Valerie Ann Kulas, 31, of Duluth was found guilty Monday of aiding and abetting a misdemeanor theft by paying two 17-year-old boys $20 each to bring her Bobo, a 31/2 -year-old black cat owned by Susan Everett.

The boys previously were convicted in Juvenile Court of theft and sentenced to 21 days on a work crew.

They testified they grabbed Bobo off Ms. Everett’s porch in May and took it across the alley to Ms. Kulas’ apartment.

Ms. Kulas admitted she offered to pay the boys to find the cat that injured her cat, Bandit, in a fight. She thought the cat was a stray and wanted to turn it over to the Duluth Animal Shelter, she testified.

She said she released Bobo after deciding he wasn’t the guilty feline. But the cat has never been found, and Ms. Everett said Bobo would have returned had it been freed.

City Prosecutor David Malban argued Ms. Kulas wouldn’t have paid the teen- agers $40 for the wrong cat, and that Bobo was ″dispatched″ in what he called the ″the Kulas kidnapped cat caper.″

However, Ms. Kulas attorney, Thomas Bieter, said no proof of the cat’s death was offered.

In finding Ms. Kulas guilty, St. Louis County Judge Thomas J. Bujold said: ″Your conduct set in motion a series of events that ultimately led to the taking of the cat.″

″I did not do this,″ Ms. Kulas said. ″I know in my heart that my conscience is clear.″