Pet owners plead with speeding drivers following spike in cat deaths on St Albans road
Cat owners are pleading with drivers to stop speeding down a 30mph road following a spike in feline fatalities.
Countless people have reported incidents to a cat owners Facebook group after their cats were knocked over by speeding drivers and left for dead on Hill End Lane, St Albans.
The administrator for the group ‘St Albans Cat Owners’, Sandra James, told the Herts Advertiser that many reports had surfaced of cats being hit in the road, which she says is a speeding hotspot.
Not only do the drivers hit the cats, but because it is not compulsory to stop and report it, many are left or disposed of without the owner being informed.
In some cases, it was believed that the cats could have been saved had they been taken to a nearby vet.
In the space of two years one Hill End Lane resident, Debbie Lavelle, has had three cats killed by cars on the road and one, Thomas, which had to have its leg amputated.
The most recent cat to die, Minnie, was found left in the road by her 16-year-old daughter on her way to school.
She said: “The problem for the poor cats is people are using that road as a cut through and they’re driving at the most ridiculous speeds. I sit in my living room and I can’t hear my TV because of the noise of people speeding.
“It seems to be every week that someone’s cat has been killed on that road. It’s only a matter of time before it’s a pedestrian.”
Sandra James said that there were some misconceptions about what happened if a cat was knocked over - one being that a cost would fall on the person who rescued the cat.
She said that was not the case and urged drivers to take the cat, dead or alive, to check if it was microchipped and the owner contacted if possible.
She added: “We have had a couple of cats on there [the Facebook group] which have been saved as a result of people stopping and taking them to the vet.
“If those people had just driven off or as some people do, or just moved them onto the side of the road, then they might not have survived.”
Another woman, Michelle Burnett, who lives on Lancaster Road, said that speeding drivers along Sandridge Road killed her two young cats in the space of a week last month.
She pleaded with drivers to take cats to a local vet so that they could be checked for microchips. One of her two pet cats was, but the other was left and brought to her by her neighbour after he collapsed on her front step.
Michelle added: “He had been hit by a car and was obviously still alive as he had struggled quite a long way from the road to her house which is set back from the road. If the person who had hit him could have stopped and picked him up he could well have survived.
“I have lived in my house for 20 years and never had a cat killed by a car and now two in one week. It is devastating. If people would only drive slower.
“They should be made to stop if they hit a cat and take it to a vet or phone the police. They could be saved and stop all this heartache it’s causing us owners.”
Both Sandra and Debbie questioned what Herts County Council were doing about the speeding issue in the area.
A county council spokesperson responded: “The safety of road users and pedestrians is of paramount importance to Hertfordshire County Council and we would always encourage residents to voice any concerns which they might have about their local roads.
“If these concerns relate to speeding or motorists disobeying restriction signs we suggest that they talk to the police about enforcement.
“If road users or residents have general concerns about road safety issues we would encourage them to contact us or discuss them with their local county councillor.”
A petition has been set up to make it illegal to run over a cat and not stop to report it. If you would like to sign, click here.