Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

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Catmum1
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Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Catmum1 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:14 pm

Hello all, I recently relocated with a cat that I lived with in and looked after in a shared house. I took her with me when I left because I felt she would be neglected if I left her behind.
My old housemates have now reported this to the police as theft and are making a civil claim against me. Has anyone been in this position before and do you know th best thing to do please? Thank you xx

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Judy Barnett
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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Judy Barnett » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:06 am

Is the cat microchipped, and in who's name?

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Lilith
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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Lilith » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:33 am

Yes, microchipping, if it's been done, is what will be considered definition of ownership.

It might also be a good idea to contact the Citizens' Advice Bureau, especially if there is no microchip. They can give you further legal advice. If you're not sure about a microchip, a vet can check the cat for free, but if there is a chip, the vet will keep the cat (they are bound to, legally) while the owner is traced and contacted.

Wishing this cat all the best.

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Ruth B
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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Ruth B » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:50 am

I would also say that if you paid any vets bills for the cat then they will be registered under your name at the vets and they could possibly help, and any receipts or even bank statements showing payments to the vets would help support your ownership. Also if you bought anything from a pet shop and again have the receipt of the have it on a bank statement. Anything to prove you were taking care of them.

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Catmum1 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:47 am

Thank you so much for all your responses! She is chipped to me. I lived in a house that was part of a housing Cooperative who paid for her original chipping vaccination and neutering-but they would not accept me reimbursing them and returned the deposit I made for the amount when I left. I have emails that show me coordinating all of her care from the beginning and paying for things to set her up in the house. There is one vets bill and one shared cost that I also wanted to reimburse the house for but they were very hostile and I wasn’t able to. Two of the seven of them said they didn’t want to be responsible for her and another two didn’t want to spray a flea treatment when she got fleas and a further two were never there. The remaining one didn’t give her a flea treatment and medication when she needed it and they are now claiming distress at my so called theft and stating they have ownership. It was very stressful living with them and being the one pointing out how they were not considering her best interests and now to be accused of theft is just the last straw. Thankfully she settled into my new place right away and has been eating sleeping pooping and playing peacefully! I’m going to seek legal advice as the CAB referred me to Cats Protection who said I should call a solicitor. The RSPCA also can’t get involved in civil matters but advised me before I left to take her with me if there was nobody i considered responsible enough to leave her with.

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by booktigger » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:01 pm

Microchipping is classed as proof of ownership, so in theory they shouldn't have a case

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Ruth B
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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Ruth B » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:06 pm

If you are in the UK these people might be worth contacting, if nothing else they might be able to put you in touch with a solicitor that understands the ins and outs of animal laws rather than having to search randomly for one. A local rescue has been having problems with the council and it was suggested that they contact them which is where i came across the name. I've no idea if they can help in cases such as yours.

https://www.alaw.org.uk/public/

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Lilith » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:08 pm

Good news ...

And you know what they say ... possession is nine-tenths of the law ... :D

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Judy Barnett » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:10 pm

Microchipping is proof of ownership. We adopted a 'blow in' cat called Yowlee. Once we found out he was microchipped we phoned the owners who told us they had given up hope of ever seeing him again as they had moved from the area eight months previously. Yowlee disappeared soon after, presumably to try and find his way back home. The owners very kindly let us keep him as he was settled and happy with us. (his name had been Elvis)! But they did have to send the microchip papers to us so that we could 're-register him in our name so he was legally ours.

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Catmum1 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:16 pm

Thank you for the link I will contact them today! X

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Catmum1 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:09 am

Thank you again for the link-they have good information but no legal advice. I called a local solicitor today and they said they couldn’t help and I should wait for the police to get in touch. An advisor at the law society said the same-that police involvement would determine if this was being treated as a criminal matter. But as she has always been chipped to me and I paid the housing Cooperative back for any costs incurred- well tried to-they refunded the money, I don’t really know what else I can do? I’ve never been in this situation before and it’s horrible having something hanging over you, when all I wanted to do was take care of and make sure my cat was safe.

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Judy Barnett » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:35 am

The chances are that the police will take one look at this and see that the cat is registered to you and tell that lot to grow up and stop wasting police time!

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Ruth B » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:04 am

I had no idea if they could help or not, but it was worth a try.

As has been said, i'm sure the Police won't be interested in it, but not knowing is the worst thing. I don't even think a civil action would get far as she is chipped to you and you have evidence of paying for her care.

Let us know what happens.

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Lilith » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:08 am

Seconded.

In the 80s someone I knew had something vile happen to their cat; won't go into details but the cat did get the necessary help and survived; the RSPCA did nothing and the police just said - what do you expect us to do? It was only a cat.

Nowadays when the police won't even do anything about minor crime, can your ex-housemates expect much support? This is the only instance in which I agree with the phrase - 'It's only a cat' ... :D

Again all the very best and good luck!

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Catmum1 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:35 pm

Thank you everyone for the moral support it really helps <3 I’m just going to focus on making sure she keeps getting the best care and adjusts to her life in a new City. I was in London where she was mostly an indoor cat with a bit of outdoor garden time. and now I live in Birmingham in a first floor flat. We have been having little peaks outside and I’m trying to work out ways she can have a bit of regular outside time as I hate to deprive her completely. She has a lot of play space in the flat and her toys and we have play time together every day and seems happy but I’m exploring options-thoughts? I am so happy I was recommended this community by the way-it’s amazing for a single Cat mum! X

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Kay » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:59 am

I would register her with a local vet asap to reinforce your ownership, but otherwise just relax and enjoy her company

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Lilith » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:40 pm

Ha, good wheeze, getting her a good distance away!

Will they bother to follow? Do you need to answer door/phone? (I don't but then I'm an antisocial awkward git he he ;) )

I live in a very crowded inner-city area where it's just not a good idea for cats to roam (traffic/dogs) and have a tiny backyard which is secured so my cats can't roam, but if the weather's cold or bad I just don't open the back door. One is very elderly and doesn't go out at all though she grew up on the street; the other is a manic idiot but luckily she craves company ... ah, I know I have 3 cats listed, the last, my avatar, died in August but she's still here. She too grew up on the street ... they adapt. My ferals moved in and proclaimed they were never leaving and were Proper Housecats, my ginger ninja (little horror) is a clingy little ginger whinger ...

Home is where the heart is, I reckon.

Good luck with your abduction - good tip of Kay's re vet too :)

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Catmum1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:15 pm

Yes I registered her as soon as we arrived for a check up and to get a supply of her flea treatments etc. I don’t know what will happen next and I’ll prepare as best I can.
Thank you for sharing about your cats Lilith-they sound lovely and sorry for your loss this summer x my cat is also a sweet ginger girl. She has adapted well and I’ll keep thinking of ways to help her see and do more-Cat events? Meet ups?? I am a Reiki practitioner and give her Reiki regularly and was speaking to Cats protection in Birmingham about holding a Free well being session for Cats and their owners at their centre. I’d come and speak about Reiki and energetic healing and offer free five minute tasters to people and their Cats. I know you are all dotted across the country but if this sounds like something you’d be interested in for yourselves or your cats or any groups you are a part of, I’d love to support you X

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Re: Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by Catmum1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:20 pm

Kay wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:59 am
I would register her with a local vet asap to reinforce your ownership, but otherwise just relax and enjoy her company
Thank you by the way Kay-I’m still trying to get the hang of this forum re reposting etc! Xx

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Civil dispute over Cat ownership-any help or advice appreciated please!

Post by The Hawk » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:14 pm

As others have said, don't worry about your old housemates doing anything about it. If they're that bothered they can go and get another cat ( we know they won't) I'm a volunteer with a rescue in London and find some people like the idea of having a cat but don't want the responsibility, as you have found out. The Police would be reluctant to get involved in any ownership disputes. :roll:

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