The Celia Hammond Animal Trust is very well known in the UK and highly regarded. You may remember that Celia Hammond is a former model from the 1960s who was photographed by the well-known David Bailey. She started a cat sanctuary on retirement.
The Daily Mail reports that a foxhunt was taking place near her 100 acre Greenacres Animal Sanctuary near Hastings in East Sussex. In Britain fox hunting is banned. Fox hunters and their hounds can only trail hunt (chase a scent laid down by an employee). Apparently, however, the hounds in this instance may have ended up chasing a real fox and/or a deer and charged into the sanctuary.
At the time there were 130 cats at the sanctuary and it was feeding time. Celia Hammond said:
“The hounds came on to the main part of the sanctuary, running all over the sanctuary. There were cats flying in all directions.”
Sanctuary Update 11 Jan: As of this morning 10 cats are still missing and unaccounted for. Thank you all for your support We have lodged a complaint with the Police and the Hunt and will be seeking legal advice on the way forward https://t.co/L1AOS6hLgS pic.twitter.com/GlInXJ3bZP
— Celia Hammond (@CeliaHammond) January 11, 2018
Volunteers and staff at the sanctuary attempted to scare the dogs away. The police are involved. A Sussex police officer said that the circumstances are being investigated by a dog legislation officer to find out whether a criminal offence has occurred.
A spokeswoman for the hunt believes that a few of the hounds might have deviated from their trail into the center of sanctuary. They apologised and offered a make a donation which was refused. According to Celia Hammond it took an hour and a half to clear the hounds from the property.
The problem is that 10 cats are missing and they have no idea where they are. Ms Hammond says that they are old and frail. She says that there are no dead bodies but they’re simply not around. She is not sure whether they been driven out of the sanctuary or been chased by dogs or whether they had been run down grabbed or killed. She is obviously deeply concerned about their well being.
My personal feeling is that any form of foxhunting is objectionable – disgusting to be honest. As I stated, it is banned in the UK but it is said with some confidence that foxhounds do actually chase real foxes under the pretext that they are chasing a scent marker. In the UK there are many foxhunt saboteurs whose objective is to stop hunting. They also try and find out what is going on. It is very hard to prove that foxhounds are chasing foxes and killing them. It is a great shame that 10 cats are missing from the sanctuary as a result of this crazy pastime for the upper classes in Britain.