In Memory of Mr Pickles
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This morning I awoke to the sad news that my friends’ cat had died after being hit by a car. Mr Pickles, had managed to drag himself home but was unable to get through the cat flap. My friends awoke to find him on the doorstep covered in blood, half of his jaw missing. They rushed him to the vet where he was made comfortable and pain free, my friend said that she could hear him purring his thanks. Sadly his injuries were so severe that he had to be put to sleep. Heartbreaking!
But it got me thinking.... cats are the second most popular pet in the UK today, but they are not protected by the law. The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that if a driver hits a dog (the most popular pet), they are obliged to stop and report it. Not so for a cat. I believe the law needs to change so the same law is extended to our feline friends.
Most road traffic accidents are caused by reckless driving, speeding, texting and talking on mobile phones so you’re not aware of what’s going on around you. It’s a selfish world we live in where people rush to get from A to B without sparing a thought for others. Granted, cats aren’t known for their grasp of the Green Cross Code, and accidents do happen. You would think that anyone who had a heart would stop to help, not just leave the poor animal to face a lonely, painful death, only to be collected by the council later that day and classified as road kill. Not a fitting end for any beloved member of someone’s family.
I once found a cat who died after being hit by a car. It was witnessed by a guy who didn’t know what to do. What do you do if you find a dying or dead cat at 10pm on a Sunday night? I wrapped him in a towel and took him home, called an emergency vet who told me to call the RSPCA who then told me to call the environmental health department at the local council. The council then told me to leave him out for the bin men!! Instead I called a cab, took him to the emergency vet miles away who said that he wasn’t chipped but they would keep him for a week to see if anyone was missing him. Now you may think I’m crazy, but as a mum to 2 beautiful moggies I would hope someone would do that for me if anything happened to them.
In an increasingly cruel, uncaring world, where accounts of animal cruelty are in the media on a daily basis, drivers stopping to assist an injured cat who then contact the RSPCA or take it to the vet could make all the difference to its chances of survival. At the very least, the owner could be located so they had the chance to be there for their pet in their final hours to offer comfort.
I call upon the government to change the Road Traffic Act to include cats, making it against the law to just leave them to die in the road. This would give cat owners closure, the chance to grieve for their pet, give honest explanations to any children in the family about how their beloved pet came to die and to understand the circumstances of their pets passing. They could then continue on with their daily life and NOT be left wondering if their pet would ever be coming home…….
Please support my petition.
- Chris Philp MP
- Gordon Henderson MP
- Transport For London
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