Smuggled Kitten Found in Passenger’s Hand Luggage

A female kitten called Zara that was discovered at Heathrow airport in the hand luggage of a passenger who had flown in from Tel Aviv is in the care of Cats Protection.

The passenger was in transit on the way to the United States and didn’t want to pay Zara’s quarantine fees so Zara was detained under the Rabies Order 1974.

She is currently being held at a facility in Hampshire to ensure she doesn’t pose a threat to other animals and humans and Cats Protection will find the tabby-and-white kitten a new home once she has received a clean bill of health.

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 owner didn’t hold the animal’s correct paperwork so she was transferred into quarantine. We carried out the necessary health and welfare checks on Zara and I’m sure she will make a wonderful pet when she’s ready to be rehomed.” 

Cats Protection is appealing for contributions to the quarantine fees as the charity is reliant on public donations.

“Zara seems to be no worse for wear despite her adventure,” said Beverley Russell, Cats Protection’s Operations Support Manager. “She must have been very quiet on the plane as she wasn’t discovered until she arrived at Heathrow. Those wishing to help can donate towards Zara’s quarantine costs by phoning 0800 9172287.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, helping around 200,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 36 centres.

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16 thoughts on “Smuggled Kitten Found in Passenger’s Hand Luggage

  1. Authoress51 says:

    Yeah, Zara looks like a terrible threat! Lol. We don’t know if someone found her so I am not judging them on her age. I feel sorry for the owner not being able to get Zara back. I wonder if it’s to late after the quarantine.

      • crystaleagle24 says:

        You just need one infected animal to get through for it to spread across the country. If the owner is irresponsible enough to risk carrying animal in hand luggage they don’t deserve the animal.

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