Beggars using drugged kittens to encourage people to give money
Two men have been charged following complaints that “drugged kittens” were being used to entice members of the public to give money on Princes Street in Edinburgh.
Animal welfare charities had been investigating the allegations for a number of months after members of the public started complaining that animals such as cats and dogs were acting strange, as though they were on drugs.
It is believed that an organised group of beggars are behind the latest scam. Although a beggar having a dog is nothing new, the use of kittens is used to gain sympathy from members of the public to hand over money.
The Scottish SPCA was in charge of monitoring the street after the received the information. The charity confirmed that they had been montiroing the situation for a number of months and had concerns about the cat’s welfare.
Scotland for animals spokesman John Patrick said that “We have had an overwhelming number of members of the public contacting us and asking for the police to investigate.
“In my opinion, and in that of others, the cats look drugged and in a state of distress. A cat would not normally sit on someone’s knee like that and they are also in a noisy environment.”
A member of staff of a department store in Prices Street said that “It was tiny and it could hardly open its eyes.
“I wanted to confiscate it from him because it looked far too young to be away from its mum. I think he had it to get sympathy from people so they would give him money.”
Another worker at nearby Zara said that “Lots of cat owners have said to me that a cat or kitten would not sit on someone’s lap like that for so long – it seems odd. I think that’s why people think it was drugged.
“The street is noisy and a lot of strange people were coming to pat the cat too, which I’m sure it wouldn’t like.”
Homeless man David Thompson said that “I’ve seen a couple of men with cats and one seemed to have a different kitten every week.
“I thought there was something strange about the kittens – they looked dopey and I was worried about them.”
Source: Edinburgh News