Owner's anger as her pet goes missing from cattery
A WOMAN is calling for a cattery near Bristol to lose its licence after her cat went missing during a stay there.
Alison Green, 62, left her tortoiseshell cat Fluffy at Mannings Mead Boarding Cattery in Whitchurch on Christmas eve so that she could visit family over the festive period.
After enjoying Christmas at her daughter's house she went to pick her beloved pet up in the afternoon of December 27.
But when she arrived she was told a "terrible accident" had happened and Fluffy had gone missing.
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Cattery owner Carlton Heath admitted the cat had escaped from one of its outside runs – where a rusty screw had allowed the wire mesh of the cage to become loose.
Mr Heath told Ms Green he first noticed the cat was missing when he went to feed it that morning, but did not inform her until she arrived to pick it up around 2pm.
Ms Green, who lives in Midsomer Norton, told The Post: "I was shocked when I arrived to take Fluffy home and was told there had been a terrible accident.
"At first I thought she was dead but was then told she had gone missing.
"The owner said a screw had rusted on the outside pen, meaning the wire mesh had come loose and Fluffy could escape.
"He said he had conducted a search, informed the local vet and nearby HorseWorld.
"I'm upset that I wasn't informed straight away as I would have rushed over and helped look, and I don't think it's good enough that the maintenance of the outside runs was not regularly checked.
"I took my cat there to be looked after and have come home without her."
Ms Green, who has made leaflets and posters in the hope of finding Fluffy, has made a formal complaint to Bath and North East Somerset Council, which licenses the cattery, and is now considering legal action.
Mr Heath told The Post that this was a "one-off incident in 15 years of running a cattery".
He said: "It was a total accident – the last thing in the world I would have wanted to happen.
"It was due to a screw holding up some wire mesh.
"Over the course of time, and due to the weather, it had become rusty and allowed the mesh to become loose."
Mr Heath said he did not contact Ms Green straight away as he knew she was on her way to pick up Fluffy and did not want to upset her while driving.
He also said he was conducting a thorough search and had informed nearby Highcroft Veterinary Surgery and HorseWorld.
"It was a one-off incident in 15 years of running a cattery – it's devastating," he said.
Mr Heath has waived Ms Green's bill and said he is still hopeful that Fluffy may return.
A B&NES Council spokesman confirmed the authority had received a formal complaint from Ms Green and was currently investigating.