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Woman accused of ‘cat theft’ after rehoming cat

A Kent woman has received a police notice after rehoming a “very weak” stray cat she found in her greenhouse.

Shirley Key, 79, took the cat to Pets at Home for advice and full vet check ups costing around £200, which she paid for herself, after employees at the store asked her to look after it.

Shortly after she began taking care of the cat she received two visits from police who issued her with a warning notice that said she could not “allow any other person’s pet into her property, including outbuildings”.

Key told media: “He was curled up in the greenhouse, very quiet and lethargic, so I gave him a little bit to eat. He seemed to enjoy it and was very affectionate.

“The cat was skin and bones and very weak, he obviously hadn’t eaten for a while, eventually I took it to Pets at Home, who asked me to look after it. They said it had been neglected, and I paid all the vet bills.

“With all that’s going on in Margate, and the police are running after a cat. It’s ludicrous.”

Key commented that the cat was found in a poor state despite having a collar, which she thought looked old and too tight. She later learned that the cat was owned by her neighbour whom she spoke to and the cat continued to visit her.

If Key breaches the conditions of her notice she could face an £80 fine, a criminal record and a court appearance. Kent Police have since said that they regret giving Key the notice.

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