A Chester family have enlisted the help of pet detectives to find their missing cats, in what is the biggest enquiry ever undertaken in the county.
After reading in The Chronicle about the success Chester-based Animal Search UK recently had locating a missing cat from Ellesmere Port, the family from Lache have called on the pet detectives to help find their own missing moggies, who disappeared within four months of each other.
Black cat Sam went missing without trace in October and despite being microchipped and wearing a red collar with a bell, the family have not seen him since then and have no idea what had happened to him.
They were doubly devastated when their other cat, black and white George who worryingly is blind, vanished on February 5 and in desperation, they contacted Animal Search UK.
The team, who operate nationwide, are led by former West Midlands police officer Tom Watkins who has more than 26 years investigation experience.
They are fully equipped with state of the art thermal imaging cameras, walkie-talkies, rescue traps, torches and police style patrol vehicles to assist with their searches.
But even after 19 years in business dealing with cases for celebrities including former Spice Girl Emma Bunton and model Abbey Clancy , the disappearance of Sam and George is one of the biggest enquiries Animal Search UK have ever dealt with - and it's certainly the biggest ever in Cheshire.
Tom said: "Most missing pets are found within a mile of home – the challenge faced by owners, is making sure that as many people as possible know that their pet has gone missing, and encouraging them to be vigilant in keeping an eye out for them.”
“This is the biggest enquiry we have ever undertaken in Cheshire. Our team have conducted door to door enquiries, spoken to dozens of people in the neighborhood and distributed over 400 photos of Sam and George amongst the community.
"I’m working on the case personally too. We have also provided a dedicated 24 hour 0800 Freephone telephone line. This is a vital piece of our operation. It allows anyone who may have information about the whereabouts of Sam and George to come forward and disclose what they need to anonymously or otherwise.
He explained: "We’re keeping an open mind about the possible scenarios. Both Sam and George could have fallen into a derelict building or shed through say, a hole in the roof. The other possibility is foul play.
"Luckily both cats are microchipped, so I’d encourage anyone who has a new cat in their part of town that matches their description to ring us or take the cats to a vet who will scan them free of charge.
"If residents in roads around the Lache area can check their sheds, garages and outbuildings too, in case either pet is in there.
Its not unheard of for more than one cat to go missing but it certainly isn’t the norm. We are particularly concerned about George because of his lack of eyesight- it’s worth pointing out that his eyes do look normal."
Earlier this year, Animal Search UK successfully reunited one-year-old cat Scarlett with her family after she went missing after she was attacked by another cat.
Anyone with news, information or who has a sighting of Sam or George should ring the Animal Search UK free confidential helpline on 0800 4 320 340 and quote case ref: 335524 or search on the website www.animalsearchuk.co.uk for pet ref: ALP335524 or ALP342896
Lines are open 24 hours a day and you can remain anonymous if you wish or email information to firstname.lastname@example.org