Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 15:43 UK

Fine threat over lost cat posters

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Daniel's lost cat posters led to the threat of an 80 fine

A council official has been branded "overzealous" after a Kent teenager was threatened with an 80 fine for putting up lost cat posters.

Daniel Cope, 13, put up 100 flyers on lamp posts in Whitstable after his cat Milly went missing two weeks ago.

But the schoolboy was called back by an environment inspector who accused him of breaching litter regulations.

Canterbury City Council has apologised to the boy's family for its handling of the situation.

A statement issued by the authority said: "We are sorry to hear that Daniel has lost his cat and understand he wants to do all he can to find her.

"Although putting up posters like these is considered to be fly-posting, which could result in a fine, we were overzealous in our handling of the situation and apologise to him and his family."

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Eight-year-old Milly went missing in Whitstable two weeks ago

Daniel, who is still looking for his large tortoiseshell house cat which had never been outside and could be hiding, said: "I think it was absolutely disgusting.

"Lots of people have said to me it's a really petty issue - saying it's anti-social behaviour putting up flyers on posts."

The teenager said: "People need to find their animals because they're part of a family - it's like you losing your child."

Heather Cope, Daniel's mother, said: "I just broke down into tears. I thought this is just not happening - I just thought what harm's it doing the posters being out there?"

Her husband Stephen said he wanted to leave the posters where they were.

He said he would have let the council issue a fine and gone to court to "tell the whole world".

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