A 5-year-old girl with an inquiring mind recently sent a letter to the local cops, asking why they don’t employ police cats, as well as dogs. She was surprised and thrilled to receive a personal, hand-written response and to hear that the police are considering the idea.
If the County Durham police do take her up on her suggestion, they might be the first police force in the U.K. to introduce cats to their fight against crime.
Chief Constable assures 5-yr-old Eliza he will look into her suggestion of recruiting police cats to their dog unit https://t.co/EEN2btAxKj
— Emily Flanagan (@EchoFlanagan) March 31, 2016
Five-year-old Eliza Adamson-Hopper lives in Burnopfield in Country Durham, and has a cat by the name of Mittens and a dog named Susie. She took note that the police always seem to have dogs on the force, but never an employee of the feline variety, so she decided to find out why.
— Tom Wilkinson (@tommywilkinson) March 31, 2016
According to Eliza’s mother, Cheryl Adamson, Eliza always has lots of questions for everyone and she admitted that she doesn’t always know the answers, so they said Eliza could write a letter to the local police station.
“We typed out a letter to the chief constable, she told us what to write, and we said she might not get a response because he is a busy man … When we got a reply it was so sweet.”
As reported by the Mirror Online, Eliza received a personal, hand-written response from the Durham police chief, Mike Barton, thanking her for her good suggestion and adding that he would pass the idea on to an inspector in the dog support unit. The letter even included a hand-drawn picture of the officer’s own cat.
— #AAR (@GlobalAnimals) March 31, 2016
Cheryl said, “It was not a bog standard response, it was really personal to her, and we loved the drawing of the cat, it really tickled us.”
Inspector Richie Allen of the dog support unit contacted Eliza to confirm the force will consider using police cats in the future in a yet-to-be-specified role, even if only to catch rats.
Allen said that he “can confirm the force is looking into recruiting what we believe to be the first UK police cat. Their duties and responsibilities have not yet been agreed but if nothing else they will become the force mascot.”
“Of course, if it smells a rat we’ll expect it to catch it.”
Eliza’s mother went on to say that an inspector from the dog unit sent her daughter a calendar and invited her to an open day.
According to the Guardian, Eliza was so moved by the response she has since decided to start raising funds for the retired dogs charity, Paws Up.
When the Guardian contacted the Durham Constabulary, a police spokeswoman confirmed it was not an April Fool’s Day prank and was a true story. No one appears to have asked whether the police dogs would be impressed by the idea.
Girl asks police why they employ dogs but not cats and gets this amazing reply https://t.co/LCryndSlRN
— Lord Hooch (@LordHooch) March 31, 2016
While initially there appeared to be no police cats in the U.K., it turns out there have been other incidents of felines working in law enforcement. According to a BBC report, the British transport police adopted a cat a while ago. Known as Chief Mouser PC Tizer, the cat is responsible for patrolling the King’s Cross railway station to keep the area rodent free.
There have also been police cats on the beat in Japan, after Lemon, a former stray cat, was made an honorary police cat in Kyoto after he wandered into a police station there. According to Japanator, the moggie even has his own police uniform. Purr-fect.