A woman says an Orpington pet supplies shop lost her cat for six hours before she found it trapped in a freezer.

Laura Sloane, of Oakdene Road, Orpington, says she took her black cat Vincent to be microchipped in Pets at Home, Nugent Shopping Park, on June 27.

Upon arriving Miss Sloane was told the procedure would take place in a warehouse at the back of the shop.

She said: "A member of staff said to me: 'I have to take the cat round the back of the shop but you cannot come with me'.

"Twenty minutes later I heard him shouting. He was calling for another member of staff. He sounded very distressed.

"When he came back to the front of the shop all he said was: 'I have lost your cat'."

For the next six hours Miss Sloane searched the premises for the seven-year-old moggy - which she has owned since it was a kitten.

She says although she asked the members of staff to close the shop - which has automatic doors - to prevent the cat from escaping, they refused.

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The 29-year-old added: "I was very angry and upset.

"It took them six hours to close the store."

Miss Sloane said: "After they shut the shop and it was quiet enough I was able to hear him crying.

"He was stuck inside the back of a freezer in the motor.

"I took him to the vets and he had an extremely high temperature. His heart was beating really quickly over an hour later, his paws were sweating.

"My cat is still scared. He just hides himself under the bed, too scared to come out."

A Pets at Home spokesman said: "At Pets at Home we always put pets before profit and we’re very sorry for the distress caused to Vincent and Ms Sloane.

"We closed parts of the store until Vincent was found to minimise stress and, once he was found, our vet gave him a general health check to ensure he was ok, offering another free health check in a week’s time. 

"We hope that Vincent and Ms Sloane can accept our sincere apologies."