A cat sanctuary in Hastings, Sussex has a number of vulnerable cats missing after a pack of hunting hounds rampaged through the property. The Celia Hammond Animal Trust is home to 130 rescued animals with varying needs and requirements, and as a result of the pack trespassing on their property 60 cats went missing.
Efforts of the staff and volunteers continued through the night of 9th January, 2018, but ten cats remain missing. A post from the Trust’s Facebook page said: “Our resident cats are free to live in the main Sanctuary house or choose from an array of sleeping chalets and outbuildings.
“Some of the cats are older semi-ferals and choose the cost outdoor chalets to live. We also have many domestic cats who are elderly, shy, grumpy, temperamental or have health issues who come and go from the main house, which they share with our resident staff.
“The Sanctuary’s fields and woodland provide a valuable safe haven to a wide variety of wild animals who live in and pass through our land and a ‘safe’ buffer zone for our animals between the Sanctuary and surrounding land.
“The central area of the Sanctuary is fenced with double height stock fencing within which all the cats sleeping chalets are contained. The resident cats are able to come and go through this fencing if they wish to do so.”
It is believed that the hunting hounds were chasing a deer and a fox – both the practices of hunting deer and foxes with dogs is illegal in the UK. The hunt-master apologised, and as of yet there has not been “any report of injury, damage or of any criminal offence being committed,” according a spokesman for Sussex Police. However, the priority of the Sanctuary’s team remained with finding the missing cats before handling the situation with the police.
What action do you think should be taken with the hunts, and what consequences do you think the hunts-man should face as a result of this?