By Jamie Williams
AN APPEAL’S been made to find the owners of nine “stolen” cats after Facebook users in Trafford helped trace a woman who had been keeping 14 missing moggies in her home.
An operation, led by Greater Manchester Police alongside the RSPCA, led to the cats being rescued from a house in Stretford, Greater Manchester.
Two of the cats, Sully and Kelly, were both returned to their rightful owners on Tuesday, October 10, with three chipped cats being returned on the day of the operation on Wednesday October 4, and nine remaining in the care of the RSPCA.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “Two cats have been very happily reunited with their owners since our appeal.
“This follows three cats who were microchipped and returned to their owners last week.
“Please look closely at the photographs and descriptions, and consider that these cats are likely to come from the local Urmston area.”
A post made on the Urmston M41 group on Facebook led to the police operation after the woman was rumoured to be keeping many cats within the property.
Kim Copeland, 23, of Moss Vale Road, Urmston, spotted her cat, Ralph, inside the house after a tip-off from someone who saw her “missing cat” posters, and placed a post on Facebook to alert other owners.
She said: “It’s horrible, you can’t just go around taking people’s cats. You know there are cats being reunited now that have been gone for two years.
“If he was still missing now, I would have just given up by this point and just think he’s gone for good because I had no idea where he was.”
The post became widely shared within the Urmston group as well as the Stretford M32 group where missing cat posts are a regular occurrence as owners search within the community.
A spokesperson for GMP said: “On Wednesday 4 October officers from GMP requested assistance from the RSPCA as they attended a house in Stretford, which was thought to have stolen cats inside.
“Almost 20 cats were discovered in the property, a large proportion of which have been seized by officers as evidence and are currently in the care of RSPCA.
“A woman at the property was spoken to by officers and a safeguarding assessment will be made due to some concerns which were observed while officers were in the property.”
There were no welfare concerns in respect of the cats so no investigation will take place.
Anyone who thinks their cat may be one of those in the pictures can contact the local RSPCA centre on 0161 882 0860.