Lothians woman whose cat was killed by taxi launches petition to force drivers to stop after running over cats

A woman whose cat was killed by a taxi has branded the driver “heartless” as she launched a petition to force drivers to stop after hitting family pets.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 4:45 am

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Lynn Harrison, from Port Seton, was devastated when her 17-month-old cat Jasper was struck and killed by a taxi near her home in a quiet residential area.

Ms Harrison, 56, was furious when she found out that the driver had driven off and left Jasper for dead after hitting him on Alder Road on Sunday, August 1.

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Lynn and Jasper had a special bond

Sarah, a passer-by who witnessed it, traced Ms Harrison on social media to tell her she held Jasper as he passed away.

A passenger in the taxi who said she was left traumatised by the incident also contacted Ms Harrison online to send details of the taxi company.

But when she called to report it to police she was told that the driver didn't break the law.

It’s not illegal for motorists to drive away if they hit a cat, whereas those whose vehicles collide with dogs must stop and report it to the police.

In a bid to get justice for Jasper she has launched a petition which has already topped 1200 signatures, calling for it to be mandatory for drivers to stop if they hit a cat.

Ms Harrison, an executive assistant said: “I was devastated when I found out Jasper had been killed. I went onto a bereavement site to help me cope with the grief and found many others in the same boat. I felt really motivated to do something.

"Jasper meant the world to me and he was only 17 months old. I got him just when the pandemic hit and working from home he was with me day in day out. There’s always a risk letting out a cat but it’s a quiet, residential street. I thought he’d be safe.”

"It was a comfort to me to know that Jasper wasn’t alone when he passed away. It would have been unbearable if he had to lie there suffering for a long time. I can’t help but wonder, if the driver had stopped and got him medical help could Jasper have survived? I don’t think he was driving in the 20mph speed limit. I just don’t understand why drivers won’t stop when they hit a cat. These are pets, they have families.”

She added: "Shame on that driver who had no regard for the devastation he has left behind. It’s heartless. Hard to know he’s got away with it. Thanks to Samantha the passenger and Sarah who stayed with Jasper. And a guy called Brian at the taxi firm, who was sympathetic.

"At least, I got to say goodbye. I remember sitting down at the beach while we waited for his remains after cremation. We got a wee print on paper of his paws. Something to remember him by. I am determined to get the law changed and have written to politicians and celebrities to try to drum up more support. It might not have worked in the past but that won’t stop me. We need to show humanity to pets, change is needed now.”

Ms Harrison has written to Andrea Jenkyns MP who said she has raised the issue with the UK Government.

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