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Hundreds sign petition to stop pet owner selling kittens from city home

PUBLISHED: 08:01 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:46 27 July 2018

Otto, a 12-week-old kitten, was bought by Kelly Milsom from a home near the UEA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Otto, a 12-week-old kitten, was bought by Kelly Milsom from a home near the UEA. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

More than 1,000 animal lovers have signed a petition to stop a man selling pets.

Kelly Milsom, from Taverham, and Lara Whitbread, from Lakenham, started the campaign after buying a kitten which they claim was kept in squalid conditions in a house by the UEA.

But the seller, Ron Herbert, rubbished the women’s claims as “absolute lies”.

The retired farmer, 88, said he had been looking after animals for almost 60 years.

Ms Milsom bought the kitten on Monday afternoon for £40 from Mr Herbert and took it immediately to the vets.

Kelly Milsom with Otto, the 12-week-old kitten she bought from what she said were squalid conditions. A petition has now started to stop the man she bought it from selling more animals. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYKelly Milsom with Otto, the 12-week-old kitten she bought from what she said were squalid conditions. A petition has now started to stop the man she bought it from selling more animals. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Paperwork from the vet shows the kitten, called Otto, had fleas and was also treated for worms. Its face was swollen and its eye was weeping. Ms Milsom also said it was dehydrated.

When she arrived at the house to buy the kitten it was in a cage and had a scratch under its eye.

The 23-year-old said: “I saw a sign saying kittens for sale so knocked on the door.

“He took me around the back and the kitten was on the floor with no water and no food in a cage.”

This male kitten was taken to the vets for treatment after being bought from a house near the UEA. Photo: Lara WhitbreadThis male kitten was taken to the vets for treatment after being bought from a house near the UEA. Photo: Lara Whitbread

She said she offered to buy Mr Herbert’s other cats, but said he told her he was keeping them for breeding.

In response, Mr Herbert said the kitten was only in a cage for 20 minutes, it had water and was not dehydrated.

He denied he bred kittens for sale and said: “I’ve been looking after cats 62 years. I only occasionally sell them.”

When this newspaper visited the house, we did not see any sign advertising kittens for sale.

There was food and water out for Mr Herbert’s other cats.

Mr Herbert also showed us the wire cage the kitten was in.

Ms Milsom’s friend, Lara Whitbread, 30, went to the house with her on Monday.

“The kitten had swelling to its face. It was panting. We rushed him to the nearest vets. I told him (the owner) I thought it was wrong.”

Otto, the 12-week-old kitten bought by Kelly Milsom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOtto, the 12-week-old kitten bought by Kelly Milsom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Their concerns have been reported to the RSCPA.

An RSPCA spokesman said: “We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare.

“A lot of the time issues will be dealt with by advice and education and it is not always appropriate to publicise this information for legal reasons.”

Otto was taken to the vets for treatment for fleas. Photo: Lara WhitbreadOtto was taken to the vets for treatment for fleas. Photo: Lara Whitbread

Otto, the 12-week-old kitten. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOtto, the 12-week-old kitten. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The cage the kitten was in when its new owners bought it. Photo: ArchantThe cage the kitten was in when its new owners bought it. Photo: Archant

Food and water for cats in the home where Ms Milsom bought the kitten. Photo: ArchantFood and water for cats in the home where Ms Milsom bought the kitten. Photo: Archant

The sign outside the house where Otto was bought. Photo: Lara WhitbreadThe sign outside the house where Otto was bought. Photo: Lara Whitbread


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