An Aberdeen girl has set up a petition to change the law around cat hit-and-runs after the death of her beloved pet Bluebell.
Under the current law, people are required to report the accident to the police if they hit animals including dogs, sheep, horses or cattle – but cats are not included.
Jessica Rainnie, 12, who lives in Bucksburn with her mum Charlotte and dad Wayne, was left devastated after her cat was found dead in the middle of a car park just 30 seconds from the family’s front doorstep.
Charlotte, who works in Brimmond School, said: “I never thought she’d take it is bad as she did, but her and that cat didn’t have a normal relationship.
“That cat had a personality, it was just crazy. They were so close, it’s sad.”
The family still do not know who is responsible, and were shocked to learn about the discrepancy in the law.
Charlotte, 33, said: “I was angry, especially because my cat was left the way she was. I don’t think it’s right.
“There is a list of animals that you have to report, but cats are just not on there.
“It was just from looking into it I realised, and I thought that’s just not fair, when I look at my heartbroken daughter.”
In an effort to turn the pain into something more positive, Charlotte and Jessica began looking into the law, and discovered that many other people felt the same way about it.
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Initially, they just signed and shared the other petitions they had found on their search, but soon Jessica said she wanted to do something specifically for Bluebell.
“I said ‘there’s no reason why you can’t start up your own one’,” said Charlotte.
“We’ve not got that many signatures, but I thought the more people who are campaigning and doing these petitions the better – maybe it will make people think a bit more.”
She added: “It’s helping my daughter. She checks it every day to see the numbers.
“It isn’t right that a dog should be any different to a cat, in my opinion, as a massive cat lover.
“To my little girl and myself, we were left devastated, just the way it was done. On our doorstep.
“My daughter’s just focusing on this petition at the moment, just to make her feel a bit better.
“I just don’t understand it, but I’m an animal lover.”
Jessica’s petition can be found at change.org/p/parliment-make-it-a-criminal-offence-to-hit-and-run-a-cat