By NAWT CEO, Clare Williams
I have been late for work on several occasions because I have been knocking on doors desperately trying to find the owners of a cat tragically killed by a car and lying by the side of the road.
Awful as the news is, I would prefer that the owners knew as soon as possible, rather than have to go through the trauma of trying to find out what happened to their cat.
Currently in the UK, if a dog is hit by a car, the driver is legally obliged to report the incident to the police – but cats aren’t afforded the same legal recognition.
This means many moggies that are unfortunately killed in ‘hit and run’ type incidents end up being removed from the roadside by local authorities and go unreported.
Shockingly, while they are encouraged by Government to do so, local authorities are not legally obliged to scan for a microchip if they collect a deceased cat from the roadside. Imagine never knowing what happened to your beloved cat.
We read such sad stories on Facebook like owners who didn’t realise their cat had been run over outside their home. They looked for him for weeks and it was only when the owner happened to speak to a local road sweeper that they learnt that he had removed a cat a few weeks ago.
The owner contacted the council who said the cat was not microchipped so they had disposed of him. The cat was microchipped and the owners are heartbroken that they never got to say goodbye.
Another devastated owner whose cat went missing, tells how she contacted the local council when the body of a cat which sounded like theirs had been found locally.
The council told her the cat wasn’t chipped but when she called again the next day she was permitted to take the cat to the vets to have the chip checked. The chip was easily scanned and their worst fears were sadly confirmed.
It takes seconds to scan a cat for a microchip and with an estimated 8 million* cats in the UK and almost 5 million* households owning at least one cat, cats are clearly beloved family members and deserve better than being swept up with the rubbish and thrown into landfill.
This is why NAWT is supporting the petition to make it a legal requirement for councils to scan any dead or injured cats they find and to contact the owner.
The petition was set up by Helena Abrahams, who shared her life with beautiful tabby Gizmo for 16 years. One day Gizmo didn’t return home and after weeks of searching Helena discovered that Gizmo had been injured in a road traffic accident and had been put to sleep and disposed of by the council without Helena’s knowledge.
Gizmo was microchipped and a simple scan could have reunited Helena with Gizmo so she could be put to rest properly.
Helena did not want other cat owners to go through the same ordeal so she launched this petition which has gained over 96,000 signatures. If it reaches 100,000 signatures by1st April, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.
Please act fast and help reach the 100,000 signatures by signing and sharing the petition, which you can find here. You can also keep up with Helena and her work by liking the
Facebook page, Gizmos Legacy.
*Source: PFMA Pet Data Report 2018