A wildlife rescue group filed a lawsuit because a police officer took a cat. The group said the cat had mental stress as a result.
After North Wales Police took Finlay the cat, Wildcat Haven wrote to them.
It was taken away by the police after they heard that the group was keeping a Scottish wildcat without a license.
After four months, the animal was given back to its owner because tests showed that Finlay was just a regular cat. The police won’t say anything.
Wildcat Haven, which is based in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, has said that he experienced “physiological and psychological trauma” and has made a number of claims about police actions.
The spokesman for Wildcat Haven, Joseph Morgan, said the group found the animal as a 3-week-old kitten in the Scottish Highlands. He said the animal was dehydrated, soaked, and close to dying.
People thought he was a Scottish wildcat, so they took him to a pen in Conwy to help him get better before letting him go.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Cat seized by police suffered “physiological and psychological trauma”, says wildlife rescue group https://t.co/ekxkZhPGm4
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 13, 2023
Finlay was supposed to be freed in the spring of 2022, but on Valentine’s Day of that year, cops took him from the farm because they said he was being held without a license.
Wildcat Haven said that they didn’t need a license to take care of Finlay.
Mr. Morgan said, “North Wales Police went too far when they took Finlay away from Wildcat Haven and kept him for more than four months.”
“By doing this, they undid the hard work that had been done for months to get Finlay ready to go back into the wild. This means that Wildcat Haven has to start all over again to get Finlay back into the wild.”
Wildcat Haven is also upset that the cops think Finlay is a domestic tabby with some wildcat genes and not a wildcat.
‘Very Poor State’
The review could make it hard for the group to let Finlay go back into the wild. If they do, they could be breaking the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act of 2006 by doing so.
Finlay wasn’t given back until June 28, 2022, and he was said to be in a “very bad state.” Wildcat Haven said that it took over six months to get him healthy again.
Its head, Emily O’Donoghue, said, “Finlay was wrongly taken because you don’t need a license to care for and release a Scottish wildcat.”
She said that he was put “in a quarantine cage for four and a half months” and that when he came back, he was “thin.”
Ms. O’Donoghue said, “The police sent him back because they said he was a domestic tabby cat, even though a test the police set up for him showed that he should have been a Scottish wildcat based on scientific literature.”
She said that the cops made Finlay “suffer unnecessarily” and kept him in jail longer than he should have.
She said, “We will keep fighting for his freedom.”
North Wales Police hasn’t said anything about Wildcat Haven’s claims, but it has said in the past that Finlay was kept at a special site where it got regular vet checks and visits.
It said there were no signs of sickness and that Finlay was acting like a house cat.
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