Ramsgate pet owner devastated by inability to take legal action after her cat was killed by a dog

Dave did not survive the attack

Police have advised a pet owner whose cat was killed by a dog in Ramsgate that they are unable to take any action.

Michele De Brett was devastated when her cat Dave died after being  chased and attacked by a Husky dog that was out without owners being present.

The 58-year-old legal secretary discovered her pet’s death after arriving home from work on September 17 and being told of the incident by a tearful boy who had witnessed it.

Michele said: “I pulled in and the young lad was shouting for me to stop. He was crying and said Dave was dead.

“I was in shock. I got out of the car and there were some people standing nearby because they had either seen or heard the racket. One lady had kindly wrapped Dave up in a blanket. and put him on my drive.

“My sister came round because I was hysterical.”

A neighbour told Michele that Dave had been sitting in the drive when the Husky appeared and gave chase. Dave bolted across the road and tried to get up a fence but the dog caught him.

Michele said: “We think when Dave was pulled down that his legs were damaged. The neighbour tried to get the dog away with a broom and she said Dave tried to sneak away while the dog was distracted but his back legs went.”

Dave sadly died.

Michele said: “Everyone was crying and really shook up. There wasn’t an owner to be seen but the Husky had a collar and lead so maybe escaped.

“Dave would often sit out the front and he was a well-known little character, everyone knew him and lots of kids would stop to stroke him on their way to school.”

Michele said she reported the incident to the RSPCA, who told her to report it to police.

She did this but police have now said that it is a civil matter and advised her to go to the RSPCA.

She said: “I’m so upset. I don’t want any animal to suffer what Dave suffered, He was a lovely little cat and wasn’t even four yet.

“I want something done, for the dog to be muzzled or something. Now the police have told me it is a civil matter and I am very upset.

“I’m concerned the dog might do this again, I worry that it might happen to a child.”

In law a dog is considered to be out of control if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them.

There have been calls for a change to the law

In August Margate mum Stacie Goddard, whose cat was killed in an attack reportedly by two escaped Huskies, launched a petition for pet owners to be forced to take responsibility if their animals hurt or kill another animal.

Stacie was devastated at the death of 16 year old cat Lilly and was shocked that no action was being taken.

She launched the petition to try and force changes so pet owners are held accountable.

Find Stacie’s petition here


  1. Such a shame cats and small dogs are suffering by out of control dogs in Thanet and nothing is to be done. Owners need to take responsibility for their pets and make sure they are not getting out undetected to cause havoc. The police are not inclined to uphold the law when it comes to someone’s pet out of control though, sad to say. There is a man in Cliftonville West area who has a Staffie that is never on a lead. He either walks ahead of the dog or is riding on his bike. It has savagely attacked more than one dog that had on a collar and lead, but again the police haven’t done anything about that owner. He doesn’t pick up it’s mess either.

  2. It’s high time that it was a legal requirement that dogs were to be kept on a short lead in public places.
    All too often we read of other animals, children and adults being attacked, maimed and worse by out of control dogs.

  3. Mini’s Law petition on change.org can be signed to get law changed Mini was in her own front garden just as this poor cat, but she was savaged and killed by hound out of control then male dismounted and slung her body over a fence, fortunately it was on CCTV as anti hunt guys recorded it in horrific detail. POLICE PROSECUTED SO ASK CHIEF CONSTABLE HOW IS IT THANET WILL NOT. Sadly it no doubt will be a child or baby as has happened in the past on scores of occasions.THANET SHOULD NOT ACCEPT POLICE INACTION AS LAST WEEK WHEN 2 out of control dogs BIT OWNER WALKING DOG BY WALPOLE BAY HOTEL. POLICE INACTION WILL BE TO BLAME. Dog Warden may suspect culprit but again POLICE JOB TO PROSECUTE, ANY CCTV WOULD ASSIST COURT AS CRIMINAL OFFENCE. So sad that yet another adored companion animal has been killed after owner not securing their dog.

  4. I should have said so sorry for your awful loss of Dave, such a beautiful boy.Luckily Michele you have got supportive neighbours and photos of him and memories to treasure of happier times with Dave.Blue Cross have PET BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT LINE 8am – 8pm daily if you feel ready to contact on-line and phone 0800 0966 606 Hope this is of help if anyone else needs free support for any pet loss.

  5. Dog license needs to come back and there needs to be a harsh penalty for dogs of leads anywhere. The cat didn’t deserve that.

    • Problem with that thanet said ages ago dogs have to be on leads but dog owners never stick to them .if seen they don’t get find it is getting ridiculous now so out of order

  6. It may be possible for the police to prosecute under Criminal Damage, if not you could try and take out a private prosecution! Thanet Police usually reach for the first excuse to do nothing, so you could contact your KCC Councillor, and ask them to put pressure on the Police. Or contact the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, and make him earn his money!

    • Remember your cat is your property, so the police should prosecute under Criminal Damage to your property, if they don’t take action, make a complaint first to Chief Inspector Rhiannan Pepper, who is in Command of Thanet Police. Make sure you do this in writing, and send it by Recorded Delivery. If you don’t get an answer, take it up with the Manager, Kent Police Professional Standards Department, 16 Edinburgh Square, Sutton Road, Maidstone, ME15 9BZ.

  7. A husky attacked myself and my dog over a year ago and the police response, (after months of chasing them up) was to say that they were asking the owner to keep it on a lead. I had asked for it to be muzzled. I don’t believe all dogs should be kept on tha lead at all times but mybe owners should

  8. The problem Elaine is, the Police depend on a charity to prosecute any animal related offence, the RSPCA! The RSPCA have stopped prosecuting animal offences, unless they are an emergency, or they are likely to die (I have this in a letter from the RSPCA, and its been reported in the press) They are trying to get the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute, but the CPS are in as a worse a position as the RSPCA, lack of resources! Its time the police had their own Animal Inspectors, and stopped depending on a charity to prosecute the law!

  9. They do I’ve assisted several in a professional capacity where the wildlife or rural police officer or any police officer can take action if witnesses are happy to let statements be taken. HQ MAIDSTONE HAS AN ASSIGNED OFFICER FOR THIS TYPE OF PROSECUTION ADVICE. It was a male there nicknamed Geordie so worth a chat to him.

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