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The death of a cat whose owner’s identity was traced through a Spanish vet has prompted a borough wide scheme.

Pet owners in Bromley who have lost their cat can now check the council’s website to see if their cat has been found.

They are also encouraged to ensure that their cat is microchipped for easier tracing.

Operation Peanut began at the end of March earlier this year when council street cleaning contractor, Kier, came across a cat who had passed away.

Although they were microchipped and the owner was registered in Spain, a campaign to trace them ended up with the owner being in Bromley near to where Peanut was found.

It turned out that Peanut’s owner had immigrated to England from Marbella eight years ago but had not updated the chip’s details, and it was after finding out about Peanut that Bromley Council's environmental campaigns officer Jackie Baxter wanted to help owners find their deceased cats who were not microchipped.

Thus, Operation Peanut began.

Councillor Colin Smith, executive councillor of the environment, said: “Every animal owner understands how much loved pets become part of the family and just how much pain it causes when they sadly disappear, often resulting in painstaking, but ultimately unfulfilled searches and appeals for news of their fate.

“This simple, low cost scheme will make a huge difference to so many caught in that invidious position by helping to bring closure to what can be a very sad and traumatic episode in an owner’s life.

“I am therefore delighted to learn that this thoughtful work is now being hailed increasingly widely elsewhere as a breakthrough in this field as well.”

For more information, visit www.bromley.gov.uk/DeadCatsCollected