02/26/2015 05:32 EST | Updated 04/28/2015 05:59 EDT

Cat rescued by volunteer group, then mysteriously stolen

Jones, a black cat with a white undercoat staying in a Newmarket adoption centre, would meow whenever volunteer Nikki Scott came to see him. When she arrived on Saturday, there were no meows.

She believes Jones has been stolen — baffling Scott and her cat-rescue group trying to adopt out the four-year-old rescue cat.

"I have no idea," said Scott of the cat's potential abductors. "When we got there, Jones wasn't there."

The cat was staying at an adoption centre at PetSmart store. He had been kept in a cage inside a locked room at the back of the store.

Another volunteer with Kate And Me Cat Rescue was with Jones around 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, and the cat was in his cage. When Scott and her husband arrived around 5 p.m., Jones was not there.

Scott immediately noticed the hinges of the cat cage had been tampered with. The bottom hinge was unscrewed and taken off, and the top hinge was similarly taken off but loosely put back on the cage.

Then Scott noticed the door of the locked room which Jones was in was also tampered with. It now does not even close.

Scott said there was evidence of other tampering with cages at the centre.

She said there have been no new volunteers with the rescue and no new employees at PetSmart.

"Jones was a sweetheart," said Scott. "He would talk to you as soon as you walked into the door."

PetSmart could not immediately be reached for comment.

It is unusual for cats to be taken from adoption centres. The fee to take Jones home was $150, but the rescue group is generally willing to work out a plan if a family cannot pay the fee.

"I just hope whoever took him is treating him OK," said Scott.

The rescue group has notified veterinarians in the area and appealing to the public for any information regarding the stolen cat. It is urging anyone who has any information to call 905-953-8355 or leave a comment on the group's Facebook.