An animal charity has claimed that police traumatized a kitten after it was seized on suspicion of being an endangered species. The police apparently thought that the kitten, now named Finlay, was a Scottish wildcat when it was taken from an address in Conwy, North Wales. The kitten was kept for four and a half months in police custody before they finally assessed its features and found only a low portion of wildcat genes, but not enough to be considered a Scottish wildcat.
Finlay was discovered as an orphan at just three weeks old. He was found in the Highlands of Scotland and was close to death. He was dehydrated, hypothermic, and malnourished. Rescued and taken into intensive emergency care, the vet checked him, and he showed clear diagnostic Scottish wildcat coat markings. He was then transported to Wildcat Haven so that he could undergo rehabilitation under the expert care of their team.
However, on February 14th, 2022, everything took a turn. Four police officers, without any warrant, paperwork, or any prior discussion, abruptly showed up at the rehabilitation enclosure and took Finlay away. This is catastrophic, considering that he was at such a crucial stage in his rehabilitation.
The police reportedly thought that the protected species was being kept without a license, but after an examination, experts concluded that it was just a tabby kitten with adorable pointy ears.
Wildcat Haven, the charity that is looking after Finlay again, said, “Finlay was seized and detained, in our opinion without due cause or reason by the North Wales Police.”
“He was detained at an undisclosed location for four and a half months until his return on Tuesday evening this week. He left us in prime physical condition and we hoped he would have been treated with due care and respect and returned in the same condition.”
“However, it is clear that Finlay has experienced serious physiological and psychological trauma at the hands of his captors.”
“We were assured by the police that Finlay was receiving specialist care. Such mental and physical deterioration in four-and-a-half months, does not suggest specialist care. It suggests abuse.”
“The police also told us numerous times that Finlay was being kept in a naturalistic enclosure. However, notes provided to us by the police show that he was kept in an enclosure with a mulch floor. He didn’t even have grass under his feet.”
“He was taken from an expansive, natural, and stimulating environment to one that clearly didn’t meet his needs.”
The North Wales Police has denied the abuse claims and said the cat was monitored throughout the process, saying, “Whilst at this facility, the domestic cat was regularly examined by veterinary surgeons, and throughout the time in the facility through to his return to Wildcat Haven, the domestic cat’s weight remained stable at the same level as when it was originally removed.”
Scottish wildcats are extinct in England and Wales, while there are thought to be a few hundred left in northern and eastern Scotland.
It should not have taken four and a half months for the police to determine whether or not the cat was an endangered animal.
Here are the full rescue tips that just may come in handy one day, and while you’re at it, sign this petition to demand all states make all animal abuse a felony now!
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