CARROLLWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay area family is desperately hoping to find their four-legged family member. They said their cat was taken by an Uber Eats driver.
They turned to 8 On Your Side for help after they said they spent almost a week of trying to go through the proper channels and getting no answers.
The cat was last seen at the family’s home in Carrollwood.
“He loved being outside, rolling in his gutter and getting dirty,” said Dakoda Welch, reminiscing about his 7-year-old cat Gucci.
Welch said Friday night, their neighbor ordered a delivery dinner of a burger, sweet tea & cheesecake from Uber Eats. But he said after the food was dropped off, their cat was picked up.
Welch said Gucci usually plays outside and sleeps inside. He said his presence is sentimental.
“My father died about two years ago and that was my dad’s cat. When my dad got diagnosed with cancer he stayed home a lot [and Gucci kept him company.]”
Welch said the last link to his father was snatched from the street six days ago. Welch’s fiance, Adriana Bello, said they captured the whole thing on a surveillance video.
“After she delivers the Uber Eats order to this house…she parked in front, she gets down to pet him and we have no problem with that,” said Bello, pointing to the video.
But she said they do have a problem with what happened next.
“She turned around, picked him up, put him in her backseat and left,” Bello said.
Mortified, Welch said they called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
“But when we called back the next day there was no record of a police report at all,” Welch said.
8 On Your Side called the sheriff’s office to find out why there is no official report. An HCSO spokesperson said since the cat isn’t microchipped, the deputy didn’t have evidence to prove ownership.
But the family does have hospital bills and medical bills from the cat. They said that would be enough and the family can make an official report with that.
The family said they have also tried to get help from Uber.
“[We put in] three separate claims with three different representatives and they have yet to respond other than with an automated message,” said Welch.
So 8 On Your Side sent Uber an e-mail to try to get answers, including what the driver’s name is and where are they at in the investigation.
A spokesperson said what has been reported is deeply concerning and they’re looking into it.
Welch said he isn’t interested in pressing charges or getting anyone in trouble, he just wants Gucci.
“Just for him to be returned, nothing more, nothing less.”
Welch followed up with us a few hours after her investigation and said they received a call from an Uber spokesperson saying they’re looking into the situation. 8 On Your Side will stay on the story.
In the meantime, if you think you know where Gucci is, the family asks that you contact them. Dakoda Welch’s number is (727) 401-9535.