ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A cat has been returned to its rightful owner after he ended up injured on the side of a busy interstate but that’s not all. Surveillance video shows a family’s cat being swiped from their Albuquerque driveway. The cat’s owner immediately posted the surveillance video to Facebook, where he was quickly connected with someone who saved his cat’s life. “He’s not moving around a lot, jumping all over stuff,” says Jhette Gonzales.

After a near-death experience, Buddy the cat is recovering. “The vet says he was able to survive because he was a larger cat so he kind of took the impact well,” Gonzales says.

Gonzales says Tuesday night he noticed Buddy was missing. “He’s just really chill just kind of pokes around the house. But when he doesn’t come crying for food at the end of the night it’s kind of weird,” he says.

Gonzales checked his security cameras and made a disturbing discovery. “This huge black family van that I had never seen in the neighborhood at all and this woman got out of it. It kind of looked like she was going to pet Buddy and then she pet Buddy and she just scooped him up, right in front of the garage,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales says he posted the surveillance video to Facebook and within an hour he learned through another Facebook post, that a black van and his cat were spotted on the freeway.
“Somebody in a black family van threw a cat out of a window on the freeway on westbound I-40. When I discovered that they would throw him out of a moving vehicle after just stealing him like that I can’t believe a human would want to ever do something like that,” Gonzales says.

Gonzales says thankfully someone pulled over on the freeway and got Buddy the vet. “It gives me hope in just good people,” he says. The vet took Buddy to Albuquerque Animal Welfare where Gonzales picked him up on Wednesday.

While Gonzales is happy Buddy is safe, he still has his concerns. “I would just like some type of answer what would bring someone to make such a horrible decision to harm a harmless animal,” Gonzales says.

Animal Welfare is investigating and they are asking anyone with information on that black van or the woman in the video to call their office at 505-768-2000, 311, or Crimestoppers. The people responsible could face animal cruelty charges, a $500 fine, or 90 days in jail. Crimestoppers is offering a $2,000 reward.