Councils under pressure from 50,000 people over what they do when dead pets are found at side of road
Two North Wales councils are under pressure to change the “distressing” way they deal with lost pets.
Gwynedd and Anglesey are facing the brunt of a campaign supported by more than 50,000 people calling on them to scan cats found dead at the side of the road to see if they are microchippped.
Other councils in the region already do - meaning worried owners can be informed if their pet has been run over and killed.
But in Gwynedd and Anglesey, deceased cats are simply thrown into the bin lorry along with other household rubbish.
The campaigners are now calling on the authorities to change their rules.
Mandy Lowe, from Manchester who started the petition calling on all councils to bring in the policy, says she is representing the pet owners from both counties to urge the local authorities to reconsider their policy.
She said: “It may not be a legal requirement that owners microchip cats but that is irrelevant to a person’s pain in not knowing what happened to their cat.
“We plead with councils on the moral not legal basis.
“I do however, somewhat appreciate some councils may not have the finances at their disposal to implement this scheme.
“If they do genuinely recognise the distress families go through and the restraints are purely on a financial basis, we would like to try and work with them to offer a solution which could work for all.
“I would happily try and find local agencies who would be willing to help if the council would allow me to and wanted to try and find some common ground which works for everyone.”
Mandy said that although she understands that “accidents happen”, she wants to ensure that pet owners are satisfied that their animal is treated with dignity.
She also wants owners to be given the chance to collect their remains to bury or cremate them.
Mandy added: “As it stands councils have full legal right to collect animals found and dispose of them like general rubbish.
“The majority of pet owners now get their pets microchipped and go to great lengths to ensure they are reunited with their pet should they get lost, injured and taken somewhere or the worst should happen.
“The fact the authorities can just throw a person’s animal, some argue family member, in a bin is a great concern to pet owners.
“Some councils don’t appreciate the sensitivity of it all and how it affects some people, it really is a distressing time anyway made unnecessarily worse by learning they were disposed of like trash.
“Most of us treat our pets like the extension to the family and the authorities should try to understand this.
“The heartache and stress could be minimalized, that is all we want to try and work with councils to achieve.
“Ultimately a change in the law would be the ultimate solution and my battle continues.”
Conwy Council, Denbighshire Council, Flintshire Council and Wrexham Council have all confirmed that they scan dead animals for microchips.
A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “We recognise that the loss of a pet can be very distressing for families.
“Whilst the RSPCA recommends that owners microchip cats as good practice, there is currently no legal requirement for owners to microchip their pet cats.
“Given the current legal position, as well as the huge pressures on the authority’s budgets, the council does not currently scan deceased pets for microchips.”
Anglesey Council has been approached for comment.