Millions of people fly across the world each day. With that many people rushing to their destinations, there must be rules set in place to ensure a smooth operation. And while these regulations are usually followed without much argument, some choose to blatantly ignore them. Such as the individual who was caught with a smuggled kitten on a plane–just because it was cheaper. Bet it’s not going to be after the fines they’ll likely receive! *cough, cough, Karma*
The smuggled kitten was found when the plane arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport.
There is not much that has been released as to the identity of the person. We do know that their final destination was the United States. The flight had originated in Tel Aviv, Israel but there is no mention of their personal nationality.
At first, we wanted to believe they had just saved the kitten and were just unsure of what to do. Perhaps language barriers hindered any request for help? But instantly, our “do-gooder”, naive and overly optimistic attitude was quickly treated to a reality check. Why wouldn’t they have reported the kitten if it was just a rescue? Why would they purposely hide the young kitten during the flight?
No, this was premeditated and done with no respect for the rules the rest of us follow. Not to mention the fact that any number of health issues could arise for a month old kitten. Kittens this young could also have viruses or infections that may not have outward symptoms.
Employees at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC) were alerted to the smuggled ball of fur during this week’s flight.
After the suspect was apprehended, they confessed that they weren’t oblivious to their actions at all!
Ross Hayes, Deputy Manager of the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC), said: The centre was alerted to the arrival of Zara, an illegally imported four-week-old kitten that was found within a passenger’s hand luggage.
The passenger didn’t want to pay the kitten’s quarantine fees so Zara was detained under the Rabies Order 1974.
The owner didn’t hold the animal’s correct paperwork so she was transferred into quarantine. We then carried out the necessary health and welfare checks on Zara. I’m sure she will make a wonderful pet when she’s ready to be rehomed.
I don’t think it’s wrong for me to be happy that Zara was confiscated from the person permanently. To have the bravado to smuggle a live animal into another country just because you’re cheap?! You don’t deserve an animal. Think of the costs associated with caring for an animal–like this one!
So now, the little smuggled girl Zara will have an opportunity to find a family that’ll care for her the right way.
She is currently being cared for by Cats Protection in Hampshire. Here, she’ll follow the proper quarantine procedures and then be put up for adoption.
They also need to make sure that she is healthy. Many young kittens have dormant illnesses that suddenly show up. These need to be treated immediately or the kitten could perish. They also build up immunity and tolerances as they grow. And Zara wouldn’t have been adopted out until after she was at least 2 months old. So who KNOWS what she went through in her short life and during her travels!
Beverley Russell, Cats Protection’s Operations Support Manager, said: “Zara seems to be no worse for wear despite her adventure. She must have been very quiet on the plane as she wasn’t discovered until she arrived at Heathrow.”
Be sure to check with any airports you’ll be travelling with pets for the rules.
If you’re planning on driving, be sure to check out our tips on road trip and/or moving with cats below!