A mum is appealing for help after her four-year-old daughter was left inconsolable after a thief stole her gorgeous kitten Belle ... and then sold her on the internet.
Elisa Sheard-North, a mother-of-three, of Knaresborough Drive, Fartown, said Belle went out on Thursday, October 19, and has not been home since.
She said: “This was very unusual as she normally only stays in the garden. I looked on Google and an advert came up on the search engine for classified ads site, Trovit, (a search engine for classified ads), and there was the ad for my kitten!
“When I clicked on the link it diverted me to Gumtree (a British online classifieds and community website), where the ad has been removed as she’s been sold on.
“I contacted the police who have been very good at trying to help me. I really hope we can get her back. I got her in July.
“She has very unusual markings and is very loving.
“My children are devastated and my four-year-old daughter, Maci, whose cat it is, fell asleep crying on me the other night. She absolutely loves her.
“This is what I don’t get. It is not as though she is a pedigree kitten. We just want her back safe and sound.”
A Gumtree spokesperson said:
“We’re saddened to hear of this incident and the distress it has caused the family involved. Gumtree does not tolerate the sale of stolen pets on our site and we are working with the police to help find Belle.
"At Gumtree we take the welfare of animals very seriously and are work hard to ensure our site is a safe place to find pets in need of rehoming.
"As well as the RSPCA and DEFRA, we work with Pets Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) and comply with all of their 18 standards.
"If you have any concerns about an ad on our site, you can use the ‘report an ad’ button on our website and our dedicated safety team will then investigate it. A full summary of our rules around listing for pets can be found on our website.”