They re­homed our miss­ing new own­ers won’t give her back

Scottish Daily Mail - - Life - By An­nie But­ter­worth

WHEN a heart­bro­ken five-year-old girl was told her miss­ing pet cat had been found safe and well she was over­joyed.

But now her mother has been forced to is­sue an emo­tional ap­peal af­ter the cat was mis­taken for a stray and re­homed – and the new owner has re­fused to re­turn it.

Deb­o­rah Cameron’s tor­toise­shell Pre­cious went miss­ing at the end of Jan­uary from her home in Cum­ber­nauld, La­nark­shire.

Af­ter weeks of search­ing, the fam­ily were over­joyed when they dis­cov­ered she had been found and was be­ing cared for by an an­i­mal charity in Glas­gow.

But when Miss Cameron con­tacted Cats Pro­tec­tion they said that the an­i­mal had been adopted.

Miss Cameron and her five-year-old daugh­ter Khi­anna be­came wor­ried af­ter Pre­cious failed to re­turn one morn­ing.

The 35-year-old beau­ti­cian con­tacted vets and her lo­cal Cats Pro­tec­tion branch in Falkirk as well as the head of­fice.

Two weeks later, the fam­ily saw a post on so­cial me­dia stat­ing Pre­cious had been found by Har­vey’s Army, a vol­un­teer group that re­unites pets with their own­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Miss Cameron, Pre­cious was mis­tak­enly picked up as a stray less than a from her home and taken to a Cats Pro­tec­tion branch in Glas­gow. When no mi­crochip was found, she was put up for adop­tion.

But when Miss Cameron con­tacted the charity, staff told her that Pre­cious had been re­homed only days ear­lier and noth­ing could be done.

Miss Cameron said: ‘It’s been aw­ful. I have four cats and they usu­ally all go out at night and come back in the morn­ing but when I opened the door the day she went miss­ing there was only the three there.

‘I was fran­tic and I called all the vets around my area, Cats Pro­tec­tion in Stir­ling, Falkirk and the branch in Stepps but they said no cat had been handed in match­ing the de­scrip­tion.

‘I was then told that a lady from Har­vey’s Army had picked her up and took her to a safe place and the fol­low­ing day they gave it to Cats Pro­tec­tion in Glas­gow.’

Miss Cameron posted mes­sages on Glas­gow so­cial me­dia groups and es­tab­lished were Pre­cious was.

She said: ‘At this point I was so happy think­ing I was go­ing to get Pre­cious back.’

How­ever, Miss Cameron was then told the charity no longer had her pet.

Miss Cameron added: ‘I was cry­ing my eyes out when they told me. I begged the woman at Cats Pro­tec­tion to call the new own­ers and ask for the cat back.

‘They came back and said the new own­ers weren’t giv­ing her back. What I would say to the new owner is please find it in your heart, for my daugh­ter, to give her back.’

A spokesman for Cats Pro­tec­tion said: ‘This is a dis­tress­ing time for ev­ery­one con­cerned and we un­der­stand the up­set a sit­u­a­tion like this can cause.

‘Cats Pro­tec­tion keeps stray cats for a minimum of two weeks be­fore find­ing them a new home, to al­low rea­son­able time for own­ers to claim them. As no one came for­ward to claim her, she was adopted by a new fam­ily on Fe­bru­ary 26.

‘We were con­tacted by Har­vey’s Army on March 10 to say they had seen a post on Face­book with a pic­ture of the cat they had brought to us. They put the owner in touch with us so we could ex­plain the sit­u­a­tion.

‘We have con­tacted the new own­ers to ask whether they would be pre­pared to give the cat back, but they de­cided to keep her.

‘Un­for­tu­nately, we have no pow­ers to com­pel the new own­ers to re­turn Pre­cious.

‘This un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent high­lights how im­por­tant it is for all pet cats to be mi­crochipped.’

‘Cry­ing my eyes out when they told me’

Ap­peal: Khi­anna with Pre­cious and, inset, a so­cial me­dia post high­light­ing plight Picked up: Cat was thought to be a stray

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