Cat ‘thieves’ warned against feeding neighbours’ pets after pensioner handed official warning by police

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Cat thieves should be severely punished – we think we can all agree on that. However, there’s a different breed of cat thieves which are being warned by the police for making an honest mistake. Recently, a pensioner fed the neighbors cat and brought her home thinking she was a stray while her owners looked around the whole neighborhood. Finally, they found her safe and sound at Shirley Key’s home, and the police has warned the woman not to feed neighbors’ pets.

According to Cats Protection, this kind of mix-ups are getting increasingly more common. The charity organization has launched a new campaign urging animal lovers to first inform themselves if the cat they think might be a stray isn’t their neighbor’s pet. This will prevent the growing number of accidental cat thefts and save the owners a lot of trouble.

Key (79) noticed a nice black cat in her greenhouse last year and she started feeding it every day. She also bought toys for the pet and took it to a vet once, paying the bill herself. However, as it turned out, the cat was living nearby, and after Kay took it in, her neighbor filed a complaint for cat theft.

Key defended herself that she took the kitty to Pets at Home, where they asked her to care for it. The woman said that the cat was pretty weak and malnourished and accused the owners of neglecting it. Police warned Key for the accidental cat theft, and she received another visit 3 weeks later, this time being given Community Protection Notice.

Now, Key isn’t allowed to feed any other person’s pet or let them into her home. Breaching this notice would result in a fine and a court appearance. The police are now sorry for giving Ms. Key the community notice and the warning has since been withdrawn. Officers are now advising all pet owners to microchip their pets and keep the details up to date so similar accidents are prevented.