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Dartford cat owner slams the council's microchipping policy
A CAT owner is purr-leading with Dartford Council to change its ways when disposing of dead pets.
Rachel Wyatt is desperately searching for her moggie, Pika, which went missing from her house in Little Queen Street on November 5.
The PHD student rescued the 18-month-old cat from a Malaysian rubbish tip and nursed her back to health after discovering the cat was flea-bitten and close to death.
The 30-year-old is angry Dartford Council does not scan the microchips of any dead animals contrary to government guidance - so Ms Wyatt does not know whether or not to keep searching.
She told News Shopper: "It is pretty upsetting never to be able to know, you don’t know when to stop looking.
"If you find out they’ve died you can feel sad but you move on, otherwise you feel a horrible guilt the animal might be out there and suffering.
"I don’t want to say how much money I’ve spent on trying to find her."
Ms Wyatt has had more than 11,000 flyers printed, started a YouTube video appeal and even hired a pet detective to help with the search.
She said: "The person I hired found out a cat had been run over on East Hill Road and I phoned Dartford Council four times to find out if it could have been mine.
"They didn’t know because they don’t scan the microchips of dead animals.
"I bought a microchip machine and will gladly give it to Dartford Council for free if they change their policy.
"It takes three seconds, it’s free and they don’t even need to contact the owners themselves, it’s done automatically."
The Department for Environmental, Forestry and Rural Affairs recommend all local authorities scan deceased dogs and Dartford’s neighbouring councils follow this guidance.
Bexley Council scans all dead animals to help reunite them with their owners.
Sevenoaks Council does the same with dogs and cats and Gravesham scans all dead dogs.
Cats Protection advocacy manager Jacqui Cuff said: “It is harrowing for any owner to lose their cherished pet and then never discover what became of them.
“If all councils were able to routinely scan these cats to check whether the cat has been microchipped then the chip should reveal the cat owner’s registered details. If informed the owner can then at least gain some sense of closure.”
For more information on missing Pika’s appeal, visit youtube.com/watch?v=gVW-d2H6Jio
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