The cat inside a Jeep that was stolen a week ago from a Speedway gas station was found safe by her owner and a group looking for her on Thursday

Jennifer Carl was 20 minutes from home when she stopped at the Speedway gas station at 2 Harrison Ave. in Harrison to use the restroom. Her rented Jeep, which she left running, was stolen with Willow inside a pink carrier.

The Jeep was later found near the Home Depot in Newark. Carl's belongings had been thrown into someone's yard nearby.

Carl was in the area with some local women from the Spay & Neuter Center of Newark who helped put up flyers, set up traps and talk to people in the neighborhood.

"Willow was an indoor cat and they don't travel very far away from where they're lost," Carol told New Jersey 101.5. The group got permission to go into the backyard where one of the volunteers spotted Willow and set up a trap.

"We set up a trap with some food, her favorite is salmon, so we got her some raw salmon. I could see her trying to come out and confirm it was definitely her. Seemed like she was looking around and she smell me or hear me," Carl said.

Willow slowly recognized Carl and began to smell her and took an offering of salmon.

"She started to purr and lean against me. She knew it was me. I sat with her for about 20 minutes before she let me pick her up, put her in a carrier and bring her home."

Carl said that Willow, who weighed 19 pounds, lost a little weight while she was on her own.

"Overall she's doing really well. She's super chill and then I'm going to get her a damn GPS tracker," Carl said.

The carrier taken from the Jeep was spotted a few days ago after Carl's belongings were tossed into a yard.

A GoFundMe page was created to posted to raise money for a reward.

"The women I’m working with have said that a reward would make a big difference in finding her," Carl said.

The money will be donated to the Spay & Neuter Center Carl.


Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

Gone for years: NJ's longest-missing people

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM