Nick Carpenter, founder of lost and found pet site, PetsReunited, approached CatsMatter earlier this year looking for ways to help support the campaign. Nick felt that the campaign was not only very relevant to the users of PetsReunited but also, personally relevant to him, having tragically lost his cat Stumpy to a road traffic accident himself - which is what inspired him to start PetsReunited in the first place.
Initially, Nick focused on Oxford (where he is based), driving the streets looking for deceased cats then scanning their microchips and taking the remains to some friendly local vets for cold storage, but now, PetsReunited has become a nationwide service offering a searchable database of lost and found pets, and a range of online tools and services to help pet owners get their missing pets back home. Though it now offers a fully automated system, Nick personally keeps a vigilant eye over each and every pet report that comes in.
A recent example of this was when an owner was notified of her cat Leonard’s very sad end in a road traffic accident through the site. PetsReunited member stated:
‘On Tuesday, 16th January at 20:05, I heard commotion outside my flat next to the Galaxie hotel. I heard a woman shouting “No, come back, come back!” followed by some car horns tooting. I thought that she had lost control of her dog, or child, but as I approached the window I heard a bang. A man in a silver Volvo had hit Leonard with his car. The man did not stop, however the woman who had shouted ran into the road and was punching the car as it drove off. Another witness ran to look for a vet.’
‘Leonard had lost a lot of blood, he had many injuries and was no longer breathing, I believe he died instantly from the impact, and therefore did not suffer. I reported the incident to the police via my mobile phone. Two cyclists carried Leonard to the path and I wrapped him up in a sheet from my house. We did not know who the owners were, so I wrote a letter to you and left it with Leonard, I watched from the window most of the night.’
‘Leonard’s body was taken by the council the early next morning after the snow fall, along with the letter, and I have thought about Leonard every day since. I am glad that I now have your contact information so that I may let you know what happened. But, I am so sorry that the news is not better. Warmest regards and with deepest sympathy, Your Summertown neighbours at 194.’
Though the driver in this incident had not taken the time to do the right thing and notify Leonard’s owner himself, thanks to the kind words from Nico, Jeanette now has the understanding that despite the driver’s actions (or lack thereof), her boy was not alone in his final moments – and anything that can help to offer someone grieving the sudden loss of a cat some closure is a very worthwhile endeavour.
Given the symbiotic relationship between our two organisations, we are very grateful to have the backing of PetsReunited - who have now set up a generous 25% donation to CatsMatter for any subscriptions coming via the CatsMatter website or social media channels.
So, if you know of anyone looking for a pet or have any information on a possibly lost cat or stray, do make use of the site.