Page last updated at 21:21 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 22:21 UK

Estate 'too dangerous for cats'

The Horton family and cat George
The Horton family already have one cat

A family's offer to re-home a cat has been turned down by an animal charity that believes the housing estate where they live is too dangerous for cats.

The Horton family from the Stanhope Estate in Ashford, Kent, decided to get a new pet after their dog died.

When they applied to an RSPCA cattery they discovered residents on their estate were barred from adopting.

The RSPCA said the policy was put in place because of "cat welfare concerns" over people shooting at animals.

A spokesperson for the charity said 90% of complaints in the area were from the Stanhope Estate, where cats had been targeted with air and pellet guns.

Rosemarie Horton, who already has one cat, said: "I got angry and I felt discriminated against because I thought it shouldn't matter where I live as long as I've got a loving, caring home to give an animal.

"Yes, it's a council estate but surely that doesn't matter. Have I got to live in a big posh house somewhere to have a cat?"

The RSPCA said they did not want to put cats' lives in danger but would review the policy.


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