Motorists who kill cats should be prosecuted, says St Albans family after pet's death
- Credit: Mace family
The heartbroken family of a cat killed in a hit and run are appealing to police to take it seriously.
Paula Mace, 46, and 48-year-old husband Tristan, adopted Arthur and Luna as kittens at nine weeks and fell in love with them. Both from the same litter, they were very close and turned two years old last month. But on Wednesday June 16, their lives were devastated.
Paula was horrified to discover her beloved pet hit by a van driver in Harvesters, Jersey Farm, who reportedly entered and left the scene "too quickly" in a big blue transit.
There is footage of a van entering the quiet cul-de-sac just after 9.30 on Wednesday morning and driving off within two minutes.
The Blackberry Jack pubs confirms they are in possession of videos, which they are willing to provide to police.
Despite rushing Arthur to the vet, he died from a full force hit to the head.
Crying, Paula explained: “I can’t describe the pain. We were meant to have Arthur for another 15 years. Luna is completely out of sorts and clinging to me. I could see blood stains on the road from my house.
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“I’d never seen my husband cry. To us, they are like additional children. Arthur was friendly and adventurous and trusted everyone. Many of the neighbours knew him as he popped into the house or garden.
“He was very vocal and would talk to us every day. We are absolutely broken hearted without him.”
Arthur is being cremated and returned to the family, including 14-year-old George and daughter, Sophie, 26 - who is so upset she is temporarily staying back at home.
Paula said: “I want to know I have done everything I can for him,” before urging police to comment on existing law and look at CCTV footage, so they can track him down and talk to him.
It is not illegal to accidentally run over a cat. If motorists hit dogs, deer, horses, sheep, cows, goats, donkeys and pigs they must stop and report it within 24 hours.
An estimated 8,000 cats are killed on British roads annually, and campaigners are calling for an amendment to The Road Traffic Act 1988, which would update this to include felines.
According to cat organisations, current legislation reflects potential damage to vehicles and any responsibility on the part of owners: as cats are small and roam free, they don’t cause the same damage and their owners aren’t liable.
Although police took details and recorded it as a collision Paula is not sure officers will check CCTV or identify the driver, whom she believes was driving dangerously.
Witnesses apparently saw the man get out of the speeding vehicle and look around before driving away.
Paula said: “It’s heartbreaking to think someone can do that. I can’t stop crying. To think of him suffering is utterly horrendous. We miss him so much.”
“I feel even more hurt and angry that all he could think about was no-one seeing him. Although several neighbours saw the blue van, nobody has the number plate, and he thinks he got away with it. It could have been a small child,” she added.
A spokesperson for Herts police said: "It is correct that we would not investigate the hit and run aspect of the incident, due to the fact that under the Government’s Road Traffic Act 1988 there is no legal requirement for a driver to stop at the scene or report an incident where a cat has been hit.
"However police will investigate offences of dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, careless driving, not wearing a seat belt, contravening a red traffic light, contravening solid white lines, and other offences where the driver is clearly not in proper control of the vehicle.
"If someone has captured video evidence displaying someone driving dangerously, we would ask them to report it via our online reporting portal at: Report anti-social driving with video evidence (herts.police.uk)."