Cat tracking scheme set-up by council inspired by death of tabby whose owner was traced through a Spanish vet
PUBLISHED: 11:27 13 July 2017
Details of any cats discovered dead at the side of the road will now be published on the council's website
The death of a cat whose owner’s identity was traced through a Spanish vet has instigated a borough-wide scheme.
Bromley pet owners who have lost their cat are now able to check the council’s website to see if their cat has been found.
The scheme, Operation Peanut, started in March when the council’s street cleaning contractor, Kier, came across a tabby cat that had died.
Fortunately the cat was microchipped, and although the owner was registered in Spain, with a bit of detective work, involving emailing a vet in Seville, Jackie Baxter, the council’s Environmental Campaigns Officer was able to trace the owner to Bromley, near to where the cat had been found.
It transpired that Peanut’s owner had immigrated to England from Marbella eight years ago but had been unable to update the chip’s details.
It was this successful reunion that inspired Ms Baxter to explore if more could be done to reunite deceased cats that were not microchipped.
Colin Smith, Bromley executive councillor for Environment, said: “Every animal owner understands how much loved pets become part of the family and just how much pain it causes when they sadly disappear, often resulting in painstaking, but ultimately unfulfilled searches and appeals for news of their fate.
“This simple, low cost scheme will make a huge difference.
“Ms Baxter’s splendid initiative is a full credit to both her and the way that she and her colleagues strive to travel that extra mile to serve local people wherever possible.”
From now on, when Kier comes across a dead cat that is not microchipped the council will publish details on its website.
All vets will also be sent a poster that they can display with a description of the cat, and animal charities will be notified too.
The cats will be kept for three weeks before being sent for cremation.
Wayne Gillard, practice manager at The Neighbourhood Vet, Penge said: “What a fantastic initiative, we welcome anything like this which may put a client’s mind at rest. If you’re a pet owner you’ll know that ‘not knowing’ is sometimes the worst part.”