Owners of felines in Horsham can be assured that there is not a serial catnapper on the loose.
A total of 12 cats have gone missing from the area within the space of two weeks.
And this sparked concern for Vivienne Barnett, lost and found administrator for the Horsham and District Cats Protection, who, along with others, suspected someone was stealing the pets.
“We had a lot go missing all within a short space of time,” she said. “Then I had two emails from two separate people saying that they had heard somebody had been arrested for stealing cats in Horsham.”
The speculation ignited a flurry of online chatter by owners of missing cats.
Leigh-Anne Haslett, who posted an appeal for her black and white pet Archie on the protection’s Facebook page, said: “My cat Archie has been missing from the Roffey area and hasn’t been seen since Wednesday please keep an eye out my son’s missing him, so are we :(.”
Adding on another thread: “Seriously it’s driving me mad I cant concentrate,” before warning other users that a ‘culprit has been arrested now’ for stealing cats from the area.
However, today (Friday August 31) Horsham police have moved to reassure cat owners that no-one had been arrested for stealing cats in the area.
It followed communication with Crawley police which confirmed no records of such an arrest exist.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “ A woman has rung in to say she has heard someone in Horsham has been arrested recently for stealing cats and wants more information. At this stage nobody knows anything about any such arrest.”
Meanwhile, the protection urges cat owners to have their pets micro-chipped. For more information about the Horsham Cats Protection and currently lost cats, visit http://www.facebook.com/CatsProtectionHorsham