Fulwood family's joy at Christmas reunion with missing kitten that disappeared 4 months ago
A family in Fulwood say they are overjoyed after they were reunited with their pet cat which had been missing for four months, and just in time for Christmas.
Mum-of-two Karen Rothwell and her two children - son Alfie, 11, and daughter Alyssia, 14 - were left devastated after their kitten, Bill, disappeared from their home in Briar Bank Row in August.
Despite making a number of appeals on social media to try and find him, no-one came forward with sightings of Bill, prompting Karen and her children to begin thinking that the worst might have happened to him.
But as the family grieved Bill's disappearance, RSPCA animal rescuer and inspector Alison Fletcher had been receiving reports from members of the public who were concerned about a stray cat living around Hillpark Avenue, two-and-a-half miles away.
Alison went to the scene and collected the cat on November 28, three months after he went missing from Karen's home in Briar Bank Row.
He was taken to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital where he was found to be in good health - but was not microchipped.
Fortunately, a social media appeal for information about a kitten’s whereabouts matching the same description was found and Alison was then able to track down Bill's delighted owner Karen.
Karen said: “He went missing in the summer and we made desperate appeals on social media to try to find him. But as time went on we thought something bad may have happened to him - like he had been involved in a road accident or had drowned.
"Then I got a message from the RSPCA saying they had found him - so I was quite shocked but also over-the-moon.
"They had picked him up about a couple of miles away from here so he must have gone wandering and got lost.
"It was a great Christmas present for us and we are so pleased to have him back at home where he is now enjoying getting plenty of fuss."
What is microchipping your pet so important?
RSPCA inspector Alison Fletcher said: "I am just so glad he has found his home as he has clearly been missed - and in time for Christmas too!
"This really does highlight why microchipping your pet is so important and it is vitally important to tell the chip company yourself if any contact details change.
"If the contact details are out of date the chip is completely useless. We see many cases where we would love to reunite microchipped cats with their owner but can't because the details have not been updated.
"It is heartbreaking to lose a pet but if they're microchipped then there is much more of a chance that they will be found and make their way back home to you."
It is a legal requirement to have dogs microchipped but it is not against the law to leave other pets, such as cats and rabbits, without a chip. However, the RSPCA encourages all owners to get their pets microchipped.
Microchipping is a quick, relatively cheap and easy procedure. It involves a tiny microchip being quickly and simply inserted under the animal’s skin and this then gives the pet their own unique code. The microchip can be scanned and matched to the owner’s contact details which are kept on a database.
The RPSCA say thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners and microchipping can help to change that.
While collars and tags can get caught or removed – microchipping identifies pets permanently and effectively, it says.
If an owner moves house or changes their telephone number, the RPSCA says that they must make sure that they tell the database they are registered with so that they have up-to-date contact details.
For more information about microchipping, visit the RSPCA website.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care, please visit its website or call its donation line on 0300 123 8181.
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