London councils under fire for ignoring cat owners over concern dead pets are ‘binned’

Distraught pet owners whose beloved animals are the victims of hit-and-runs or disappear have launched a nationwide campaign to get councils to scan every cat’s body reported to them for microchips.

There is frustration that dogs receive special treatment after a law was passed this year requiring them to be microchipped while cats are being overlooked.

Petiton founder Mandy Lowe, whose cat Snowy vanished a few years ago, said she was ignored by councils when she approached them herself.

“Rather than me being a lone warrior who they can ignore or palm off, I set this petition up so everyone who signs it, their signature goes direct to their local council,” she said.

SNOWY: Mandy’s cat was never found

After this approach, councils have recorded a greater number of inquiries from the public concerned about their missing pets.

Both Richmond and Wandsworth councils have released statements this month confirming they scan all dead cats reported to them.

Ms Lowe said: “Never knowing and never having closure is a real issue for many cat owners and I don’t think councils and the government in general appreciate this.”

Accusations against councils of mishandling dead cats have surfaced before, with a 2014 petition demanding councils ensure all cats are scanned.

The charity South Norbury Animal Rescue Liberty, (SNARL), also suggested councils were guilty of weak policy implementation.

Tony Jenkins, SNARL co-founder, said: “They outsource their street cleaning services to companies with high staff turnover.

“I think council policy is not getting through and cats found by cleaners are sometimes simply being binned.”

But Ms Lowe has cited her success with Cumbria Council as evidence of progress.

“Only Cumbria Council said they appreciate they have been handling cats found wrong, and changed the entire way they do things,” she said.

Kingston, Croydon and Merton Councils are yet to respond to the petition, while Lambeth have pointed to their website which states: “If you find a dead animal in the street then report it to the council and we will remove it.”

Featured picture courtesy of Cats Protection Mitcham, with thanks

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