Precious’ story published in the Scottish version of the Daily Mail

Our story of Precious has recently appeared in print in the Scottish version of the Daily Mail newspaper. A copy of the article is below:

They rehomed our missing cat…now new owners won’t give her back
Scottish Daily Mail – 4th Apr 2018 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.’

Link to the original article on Press Reader: https://www.pressreader.com/uk/scottish-daily-mail/20180404/282041917693472

Precious’ story published on Australian news website Yahoo7

Aside

Our story recently appeared on Australian news website Yahoo7. The article is below.


Little girl, 5, devastated after cat mistakenly rehomed by animal charity

A five-year-old girl has been left devastated after her pet cat went missing and was mistakenly re-homed to another family.

The cat, named Precious, was found about 1.5km from her home in Cumbernauld, Scotland, and was handed into an animal welfare charity despite the fact that she was wearing a collar.

Precious’ owner Deborah Cameron and her young daughter started to get worried when the feline didn’t return home the next day.

In a desperate bid to find the lost pet, Ms Cameron contacted local vets and animal shelters to leave a description of her cat.

The family found Precious. Source: Facebook / Deborah Cameron

She also contacted the Cats Protection charity – unknowingly the same organisation that Precious had been handed into – and asked them to get in touch with her if they had seen the cat.

Two weeks passed with no contact before Ms Cameron became aware of a post online by a welfare group called Harvey’s Army.

Members of the group had seen Precious and thinking she was a stray, they took her to a “safe place” before handing her into the Cats Protection in Glasgow – 35 kilometres from her home.

By the time the family traced Precious, Cats Protection had rehomed her, just a few days prior.

The family are distraught over losing Precious. Source: Facebook / Deborah Cameron

Ms Cameron desperately explained her situation to the charity who then got in contact with the adoptive family. However, they refused to return Precious to her original home.

The family was told the only way to get Precious back was was to fight for her through a civil court.

A statement from a spokesperson for Cats Protection said that they “understand the upset a situation like this can cause” but they were not able to “compel the new owners to return Precious”.

“This unfortunate incident highlights how important it is for all pet cats to be microchipped,” the spokesperson said.

Precious wasn’t microchipped but appeared to be in good health so the charity said they made attempts at locating the owner, including putting posters up around the neighbourhood.

The organisation keeps animals for two weeks to allow owners enough time to claim the animal before rehoming them.

Precious was given to another family. Source: Facebook / Deborah Cameron

The family are arguing that the charity did not take due diligence in the rehoming process as the cat was rehomed out of the borders of the local unit.

“We miss her so much we would do anything for our baby back home where she belongs and that is with her real family,” Ms Cameron wrote on Facebook.

“I raised this cat from four weeks old. I bottle fed her because she stopped feeding from her mummy so I became her mummy and now she has been taken away from us and we are completely devastated over what has happened.”

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/39685097/scotland-girls-cat-given-to-another-family-by-cats-protection/

Precious’ story published on STV News website

 

 

Girl, five, devastated after pet cat rehomed by charity

A five-year-old girl has been left devastated after her pet cat was mistakenly rehomed by an animal charity.

Precious was mistakenly picked up as a stray less than a mile from her home in Cumbernauld in January.

Owner Deborah Cameron and her daughter grew worried after Precious didn’t return the next day and set about contacting local vets and the Cats Protection charity in Falkirk – her local branch – as well as the head office, giving a description of her cat and asking them to get in contact if anything came in.

Around two weeks later, the family were shown a post by a group who call themselves Harvey’s Army.

Members had seen Precious and thought she was a stray, despite having a collar and being in good condition.

The group picked her up, taking her to a “safe place” before handing her into the Cats Protection in Glasgow – 22 miles from her home.

Mrs Cameron hadn’t contacted the Glasgow office due to it being so far away from her own home, she didn’t expect her cat to end up there.

By the time the family traced Precious, Cats Protection had rehomed her, just a few days prior.

After explaining her situation, the charity got in contact with the adoptive family, who then refused to return the cat to her original home.

Cats Protection told Mrs Cameron there was nothing else it could do, as the adoptive family were unwilling to part with Precious.

Now the family have been told the only way they can fight for their cat to be returned home is through a civil court.

A statement from Cats Protection said: “We appreciate this is a distressing time for everyone concerned and we understand the upset a situation like this can cause.

“Precious came into the care of our Glasgow Branch, via Harvey’s Army, on February 6.

“She was scanned but sadly did not have a microchip so we made efforts to locate an owner, including advertising on the branch website and social media sites and sharing her details with other online groups and charities.

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

“Cats Protection keeps stray cats for a minimum of two weeks before finding them a new home, to allow reasonable time for owners to come forward and claim them.

“As no one came forward to claim her during this time, she was adopted by a new family on February 26.

“We were contacted by Harvey’s Army on Saturday 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 since contacted the new owners to ask whether they would be prepared to give the cat back, but they have decided to keep her. We have relayed this response to the original owner. 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.

“We would urge all owners to microchip their cats and keep their details up to date as it will increase the chances of a happy reunion should they go missing.”

The family are still fighting to be reunited with Precious, but are distraught at the lack of communication between the rehoming centres which could have lead to them being reunited with their pet.

They are arguing that the charity did not take due diligence in the rehoming process as the cat was rehomed outwith the borders of the local unit.

Mrs Cameron contacted Cats Protection days after Precious went missing, so they are saying it is incorrect that no one came forward to claim her.

They are also frustrated at the lack of ability to reclaim the cat from the family who adopted her, believing there needs to be greater protection for pet owners.