DUBLIN, IRELAND-NEWS AND COMMENT: The Irish Sun has reported on a scam concerning cats that I have never heard of before. The scammers offer to remove so called ‘stray cats’ from housing estates and even apparently back gardens. They charge for the process and they say that they are going to take the animals to pounds or perhaps shelters, it is not clear. However, what is happening is that on occasions they are rounding up domestic cats (with collars!) and dumping them far away from where they were picked up.
The Dublin SPCA has been made aware of these scammers and appealed to the public for more information. Gillian Bird a spokeswoman for the Dublin SPCA said: “There does seem to be individuals going around taking advantage of people who want to get rid of cats from their housing estates and their back gardens. We have had reports of individuals in South Dublin actually abandoning cats out of the back of their van.”
Comment: Ms Bird stated that it is incredibly cruel to do this and that goes without saying really because these unscrupulous people are bound to pick up and abandon someone’s cat companion. It is cruel even if true stray cats are picked up and dumped. It is unclear how many times domestic cats have been taken away but it’s bound to happen. Stray cats look exactly like indoor/outdoor cats that happen to be outside at that time. In fact, outside domestic cats can be indistinguishable from genuine stray cats who have not got a home, and genuine feral cats if they are semi-domesticated.
It is likely that the scammers are breaking animal welfare laws because, on the report that we have, their actions are a form of cat cruelty; a crime. Another crime that they are allegedly committing is that of theft. They also might be committing the crime of criminal damage. This is a serious matter and I have never seen it before, as mentioned. It seems to be unique to Dublin, Ireland.
It’s remarkable also that the public are being taken in by this. Who in their right mind would pay a stranger to go around the neighbourhood picking up cats described as “stray” to dispose of them? You can’t trust anybody to do what they can say they’ll do under these circumstances. And therefore, the public are sadly party to this ridiculously inept and cruel operation.
Another newspaper tells us that stray cats have been a growing problem in some Dublin neighbourhoods for a while. It seems that the scammers are feeding off this issue.
SOME MORE ON STRAY CATS: