No, Dascha Polanco Didn't Abandon Her Cats in a Taped-Up Box

Illustration for article titled No, Dascha Polanco Didn't Abandon Her Cats in a Taped-Up Box

Recently, The Hollywood Gossip reported that actress Dascha Polanco (Orange Is The New Black's Daya) abandoned two adult cats she'd adopted to make room for some adorable kittens. What an awful person, you may be thinking. But a little sleuthing has revealed that this juicy tidbit of gossip probably isn't true. So let's nip it in the bud before the internet collectively drags Polanco across its hot, troll-infested coals.


Here's the story as The Hollywood Gossip relates it: Polanco adopted two cats, decided that she wanted kittens instead, brought the cats back to the shelter in a cardboard box and then screamed "Don't you know who I am" at a frightened rescue worker before storming off into the night. THG also reports that she adopted two kittens. WHAT A GARBAGE PERSON.

Here's how the public reacted upon learning this news:

Illustration for article titled No, Dascha Polanco Didn't Abandon Her Cats in a Taped-Up Box

Here's the box that Polanco allegedly returned the cats in. (A note that animals, especially adult animals, should be transported in a carrier, not in taped-up cardboard. Please never do this.)

Illustration for article titled No, Dascha Polanco Didn't Abandon Her Cats in a Taped-Up Box

When we received a tip about this story, I reached out to both the rescue agency in question as well as the tipster in order to establish whether it was true. While the rescue (and anyone affiliated with it) refused to go on the record or make a comment, I spoke to a woman who was unaffiliated with the organization but familiar with the incident. She told me that according to her sources, Polanco had brought back the cats in less-than-optimal condition and demanded they be taken back immediately, because she was unable to keep them in a new apartment. She then reportedly bullied the workers for not being as accommodating as she'd hoped. The anonymous source says that Polanco was immediately put on a "do not adopt" list that circulates among New York City rescues — and the only happy news is that the cats were adopted immediately by another interested party who saw the whole thing go down.

The source told me that the incident occurred sometime in the last year, and Polanco had apparently had the cats for several years before she decided to give them up. The source also told me that Polanco's people are now threatening to sue the rescue if the backlash against Polanco, who'd had people harassing her on social media, didn't stop.


While Polanco's camp wouldn't make an official statement, reliable sources close to the star revealed that the cats were not hers but her former partner's, that she had just accompanied him on his own mission to return them, and that the incident happened in 2012. The confusion, the source claims, is rooted in an employee at the pet store (where this rescue's adoption events are held) providing Polanco with incorrect information about returning animals.

Polanco has had to remove pictures of her new kittens from Instagram, and she and whoever assists her have been busy deleting comments and blocking people on Twitter and Instagram. She's also posted the following to her official Facebook page regarding the backlash:

They may take your kidness for weakness , they will fight a battle without having ammunition. I am human, & love all parts of life. I walk with my head high and im nauseated by the ppl that bully and choose to express such hurtful words. So much progress to be done.


It seems that the only winners are the cats—I'm including Polanco's new kittens here—who now do have homes.


Lead image via Getty


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