The circumstances surrounding the seizing of 65 shelter cats in 2013 under court order generated a suspicion that the RSPCA had acted in a way which lacked probity.
Nonetheless the cats were seized from a shelter managed and owned by Sarah Mellanby, 43, of Teeside, UK. You can read about how the cats were seized on this page. The veterinarian made a lot of money as a result of the raid on this cat shelter and the argument is that the seizing of the cats was motivated partly to make money.
Subsequently a 10-year-ban against Sarah Mellanby keeping cats has been overturned by the current judge in the matter who made an order that 21 of the seized cats must be returned to Mrs Mellanby.
Mrs Mellanby, claims that 25 of the cats that were seized from her were personal pets but that does not seem to have changed the court order.
However, the RSPCA do not want to hand back the cats. They have even asked the judge to reconsider his order. This is unusual behaviour. I would be surprised if the judge took the time to consider the request as it should be made under an application to court and better still it should have been made before the court order during normal submissions and arguments.
Mrs Mellanby is justifiably worried that something has happened to cats which prevents their return to her. She fears that the RSPCA may have got rid of the cats in some way or other and that they are trying to cover their tracks by delaying or overturning the current court order.
Mrs Mellanby’s barrister says that the RSPCA are undermining the court process. I agree with her.
Personally, bearing in mind that around 3 1/2 years has elapsed since the cats were seized from Mrs Mellanby’s shelter, my feelings are that something has happened to the cats and that it is impossible for them to be returned.
The RSPCA deny this. They say that they are not trying to undermine the ruling and that they are not refusing to return the cats. This indicates that they have the cats. But the time elapsed since they were seized strongly indicates that they are misleading Mrs Mellanby and the court.
Court proceedings concerning seized cats are arguably innapropriate because what do you do with cats when there is an appeal many months or even years later? You can’t store cats away in a storage facility pending the outcome.
Source: Daily Mail Online.