London

Tug of love over ginger cat rehomed by RSPCA

A ginger cat called both Podge and Mr Darcy is at the centre of a tug of love after he was rehomed - only for his old owner to demand him back.

The two-year-old pet went missing in March from the home of Lauren Terry, who lives in Sutton, south London.

The RSPCA later found the ginger cat and gave him to a new owner, who renamed him Mr Darcy.

But when Ms Terry tracked him down via the RSPCA website, the new owner refused to give him back.

Ms Terry is considering legal action to reclaim Podge, the RSPCA said.

'Very sad'

The RSPCA is asking Ms Terry to provide proof of ownership of Podge, such as a vet's statement.

However the organisation conceded it was not able to compel the new owner to return the disputed moggy, and that, ultimately, the matter could be for a civil court to decide.

An RSPCA spokesman called it a "very sad situation".

He said: "The local branch rehomed the cat in good faith, but if Lauren can prove ownership of the cat then we can go back to the adopters and ask them to return the cat to the original owner.

"This is a very sad situation, but the RSPCA does find loving new homes for more than 34,000 animals a year and situations like this are thankfully extremely rare.

"Instances such as this show why it is so important that cat owners get their pets microchipped and keep their details up to date."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites