Police Officer Sold Dying Kitten to Autistic Child for Huge Profits

The heart-rending story of an exploitative pet scam has led to the imprisonment of a former British Transport Police officer and her partner. The duo reaped immense profits from selling malnourished and ill kittens to unsuspecting customers.

The Deceptive Operation

Amy Byrne, 30, and Harry Angell, 31, were the masterminds behind this pet scam, where they bought and bred kittens, then sold them for prices ranging from a mere £50 to an exorbitant £1,500. However, buyers soon discovered their new pets were often malnourished, unwell, and soiled with their own waste. In this fraudulent operation, the couple used 33 different false identities, including mimicking legitimate charities like Cat Cuddles Rehoming.

dying kitten

Disguised as a Vet

Amy Byrne added another layer of deception by posing as a vet, falsely assuring buyers that the kittens were wormed and microchipped. The health certificates provided by her were later found to be counterfeit.

Victims of the Scam

Many buyers, including parents gifting kittens to their children, were victims of this ruthless scam. One instance involved a mother who purchased a kitten for her autistic son after he had lost his pet. Heartbreakingly, the kitten died soon after it was delivered to them.

Facing the Law

In Woolwich Crown Court, the couple admitted to charges of fraud and breaches of the Animal Welfare Act. Subsequently, Angell received a three-year and four-month sentence, and Byrne got a three-year and eight-month sentence. Both are barred from owning pets for the next ten years.

Ignoring the Buyers’ Plights

Even after selling sickly kittens, the pair showed no remorse or concern. They often ignored distraught buyers seeking assistance after their new pets fell ill.

dying kitten sold

The Investigation and Conviction

An investigation, prompted by numerous complaints received by Trading Standards, RSPCA, and the police, led to a raid at the couple’s residence. A total of 17 kittens, six of which were suffering, were discovered. The couple’s scam dated back to 2015.

Learning Lessons

This distressing case highlights the need for caution when adopting pets. Potential owners should ensure the health and source of the pet to avoid any future health and behavioural issues.


Despite the grave offenses, Byrne and Angell showed no remorse for their actions. However, the court’s decision serves as a warning to unethical breeders, helping protect innocent buyers and vulnerable pets from similar scams in the future.