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ExperiencedLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  I have 14+ years of experience as a family lawyer, advising people on all kinds of relationship and family law issues.
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Hello, in July this year my daughter and two young children

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Hello, in July this year my daughter and two young children had to come and live with me moving from Wales to England; this was due to financial problems as a result of marriage breakup. Through a neighbour she managed to find a foster home for her Bengal cat until she got sorted with a new home. She has just managed to get a new home back in Wales and on speaking with the foster people was told today that they gave her cat away to someone 'local to them' because he apparently attacked their cat six wees ago. They live about twenty miles from my daughter.

My daughter And children are upset by this not only as he is part of the family but my daughter paid a lot of money for him; has him chipped and still pays his pet insurance.
She has asked the foster peopl to get him back and are supposed to call my daughter back tomorrow. They were cheeky to her in saying that he is better off in new home because the new owners have money and plenty of land.

Please advise.
My email is:[email protected]

Many thanks

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I can help you with your question.

Is your daughter the legal owner of the cat? (ie did she either purchase it or have it gifted to her).

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes she bought him from a breeder for in excess of £400
Thank you.

And when she placed her cat with the 'foster carer', was it clear that she was not giving them the cat permanently?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes without a doubt and they were texting and calling for the first few weeks to keep my daughter updated as to how he was getting on.

Thanks again.

As far as the law is concerned, a cat is a chattel (ie a posession) like any other. The foster people are no more legally entitled to give away your daughter's cat, than they would be entitled to give her car away if she'd leant it to them.

She should write to them pointing out that they were not legally entitled to transfer the cat to anyone else, and stating that if they do not return the cat to her, then she will initiate legal proceedings against them for either the return of the cat or payment of the value of the cat (£400) plus costs. I am not suggesting that your daughter actually start proceedings, but that such a letter might put pressure on the foster people to actually take her seriously and act in accordance with the law, by returning her cat to her.

I hope that is helpful. If you would like me to clarify anything, please ask. If not, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

ExperiencedLawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My daughter has spoken with the people who gave the cat away and they have fobbed her off with various answers including the cat is inacat protection place to someone still having him and not wanting to give him back. Also told her he is dead which has caused her much grief; she has reported the matter to the police and was told it is a civil matter even though she was threatened not to go near the foster home the neighbour will come after her with a gun.
She has logged the complAint with local vets, pet plan, cat protection and RSPCA to try and get support. Although, she was also told that the new owner has a private vet to go to the house so he will not be scanned for his microchip.
My daughter wants to see a solicitor

The police are correct, it is a civil matter. If the foster people really will not cooperate, the only way that your daughter can force the issue is to file a civil claim for the return of her cat and/or financial compensation. A solicitor will be able to help her with that.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your reply
My daughter has spoken to two solicitors and CAB and all refuse to help her stating about the costs involved. She is going to try to go back to the police but they have not been helpful so far. Please advise

The police will not be able to help.

If your daughter cannot use a lawyer because of the costs, then she can do it herself. I am surprised that the CAB will not help at all.

The claim is issued on form N1, which can be found through the following link. I suggest that she fills it in, and then takes it in draft back to the CAB for them to help her complete it / check it for her.

She should also write formally to the foster people and tell them that unless they return the cat or pay the money's worth within 14 days, she will issue a claim against them at court.