Finding Jasper: An Interview With Stacey Benson

It was over a year ago that Jasper, a cat belonging to the Benson family in Fargo, went missing while his owners were on vacation. In this interview, Stacey Benson provides details of Jasper’s disappearance, the efforts put forth to find him, and what the general public can do to aid in the search for this beloved pet.


When and how did Jasper go missing?

My family and I left for a trip to Disney Land in December 2012.  We asked the neighbor children to feed Jasper and our dog and keep them company while we were gone.  Somehow, during that time he got out.  We returned from Disney and Jasper was gone.


Does he have any distinguishing characteristics?

Jasper was a rescue pet, and I think maybe he was separated from his momma too young.  When he crawls up on you he purrs very loudly and sucks on your shirt.  That’s why he is named Jasper, after a Vampire in Twilight.   He also has a microchip in him, any vet should be able to wand him and see if it is him. He is a beautiful black tuxedo cat with a dash of white on his chin.  The picture in the missing photo has the spot on the left side, and the original picture has the spot on the right side.  It’s been so long I don’t remember which is which anymore.


What has been done so far to try to find him?

We hung signs all over town, probably 100 of them. We placed ads in the paper and on the radio.  We looked at shelter pictures online.  We called the police and animal control.  We sent his picture and a letter to every vet within 50 miles, and every shelter, in case someone turns him in.


Have there been any false alarms in the time he’s been missing?

So many people have called.  It has been such a wonderful response.  Some people just called to ask if we found him.  We have been overwhelmed by the response.  We thought we had a lead last winter by the trailer court.  A lady said she saw him living under an empty trailer house.  We set up a live trap, but no luck.   We went every day for over a month.


Is there anything more you plan to do?

My 7-year-old still asks God to return Jasper every night in his prayers and it has been over a year.  This summer we will send the letters and pictures to the vet again.  Jasper has a microchip which will trace him back to us, so that is the best chance I think we have now.


If someone wants to help, what can they do?

He must be with a family by now.  If he was not taken in and loved and cared for by a loving family he would not have survived.  I think we are beyond the stage of asking people to be on the lookout for him.  At this point, if he is found, it will be because a family took him in and didn’t know he had a family who was looking for him.


What would you like the public to know about Jasper?

Jasper is the perfect cat.  He is loving and sweet and loves to cuddle.  He has a family who loved him dearly and misses him and wants him home.


If someone thinks they have found him, who should they contact?

They can call me, Stacey, at 701-541-3330.


– Särah Nour

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