Feline Network: Pet theft, injury and accidents

Close-up of a brown and tan tabby cat staring into the camera lens from a short distance away

If you are unsure if your pet is microchipped all rescues and vets can scan them for you for free. - Credit: Feline Network

Many of you will be aware of the law coming into force next May whereby it will be an offence to abduct or steal a pet.

Currently they are classed as property, the new law encompasses the fact they are sentient beings and when taken from a family, it leaves distress and severe upset.

The law will require pet owners to be more responsible regarding identity of their pets - keeping microchips up to date, dogs legally must wear a collar with ID when outside, and keeping photographic evidence of your pet and their paperwork if applicable.

We, as a charity, rescue many cats who are microchipped but the chip has never been registered, so it is worthless.

All microchips must be registered with the reunification company, vets should advise this but it often gets overlooked thus minimising the chances of that pet being reunited with an owner.

If you are unsure if your pet is microchipped all rescues and vets can scan them for you for free.

Currently it is law to report a road traffic accident involving a dog but not a cat. However, this is in the process of going through Parliament and, hopefully, will soon change.

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If you hit a cat, or any animal, it is vital to get them to the vet. It's also advised to knock on a few doors to try to locate their home.

If they are deceased, the vet will take them. If this is not possible, contact a charity or leave the pet discreetly in a box where it can be located by a rescue.

Somewhere there will be an owner wondering where their family pet is.

We know of late there have been a few cat shootings in the Buckland area, and a more then usual amount of cats disappearing in St Michael's.

If you know of any circumstances where a cat is being hurt, inform the police on 111 or report to Crimestoppers.

Feline Network have a busy and active outreach team who go out daily to check on stray, deceased, lost or abandoned cats.

We are always looking for more volunteers to help with this.