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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69527
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My pedigree cat went missing some time ago. Recently he has

Customer Question

My pedigree cat went missing some time ago. Recently he has been taken to a vet and his microchip scanned. The people who have him have refused to respond to the Microchip company and they cannot pass their details to me without their permission. They have been sent mine in writing. I spoke to the Cats Protection legal dept and they advised me cats come under property law. I would like to find a solicitor to try and get a letter to the people who have my cat and understand how I may take action to get him back.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How long ago did he go missing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

HI

He went missing from my yarn 14/11/2012. He is an indoor cat and got out. He is a pedigree, Ragdoll and I have all his papers. I've had him since a kitten.

I spent up to 6 months searching for him. Posters in every house, in the local magasine that is delivered to every house in the village, in the school newsletters, local forums, on every lightpost and in every vets/rescue and animal shelter.

Petlog called me 13/11/2014 to say that someone had taken him to a vet and as a new client he had been scanned and his chip found. The new people said they had got him from a rescue centre approx 12 months before but I don't think this is true as most rescue centres would scan for a chip.

Pet log left several voice messages and then sent a letter with my contact details and confirming I would not change the microchip details. They have not responded.

Regards

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
You need to seek a declaration of ownership from the county court and the consequent possession order.
That is not complicated to do. You don't really need a solicitor. It costs about £200-£300 if you self represent and it is just using the N1 forms.
The difficulty is that with such a long gap in loss of the cat the court could say that they are the current owners. It is difficult to say really. A court would look at the original purchaser, to whom the animal is registered but also the current care giver.
That said, if you don't sue there is no prospect of getting him back so it is important that you act.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

HI

I was told by the cats protection that there had been precedent a there had been a case in Kent where it went to court and the original owners were given the cat back on the basis of property.

How do I find a solicitor? I am hoping that they could get around the data protection with the microchip company and get a letter to the people. The microchip company could not give me any detail. However I don't know what category this falls under except property and when I have called some local firms they hear me mention cat and won't discuss it. I would like to try getting in contact with the other people and try for civil discussion and resolution, if possible.

Regards

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
The cats protection league are not lawyers and should not be giving legal advice.
There might well have been a case that was successful but that doesn't set a precedent. If they even know what a precedent means.
You can use any high street solicitor for a letter before action. A barrister under public access would probably be cheaper.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69527
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi

A question about the declaration of ownership. I don't have any details of the people who currently have my cat, so is this still a possible option? The microchip company, Petlog, cannot give me any details without their permission due to data protection I believe.

Perhaps I am incorrect, but I thought that a solicitor would be able to request these details from Petlog and then send a letter on my behalf. I am not sure they would be able to give me those details to put on a small claims form?

Regards

Michelle

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
A solicitor has no more rights to demand information under the DPA than you.]
Pet Log will not hand this information over though. What you will have to do is seek a Norwich Pharmacal order from the court. It is not expensive to do that and Pet Log will comply.

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