Stranded cats land owner with €3,000 bill

09:44 26 September 2012

Some of Nina Hanson

Some of Nina Hanson's cats during their ill fated trip across Europe, which saw them stranded in France.

Archant

Combe Martin woman trying to raise money to get her cats back after they end up stuck on the wrong side of the channel.

Nina Hanson, pictured here in Combe Martin, is hoping people will be willing to help her get her cats back from France.Nina Hanson, pictured here in Combe Martin, is hoping people will be willing to help her get her cats back from France.

THE owner of six cats facing an uncertain future after being stranded in France has appealed for help to bring her beloved pets home.

A series of mishaps dogged Nina Hanson’s move back to the UK after 20 years in Spain, resulting in her cats being kept at a veterinary clinic in France and her with no money to pay the £3,000 bill for their release.

She had been due to collect them after their 21 days in quarantine were over, but unexpected money problems meant Nina could not pay the bill and she watched in horror as it mounted steadily at 460 Euros per week.

Numerous attempts to borrow or raise money failed and her only hope is people will be moved by her appeal and make a donation to help bring the cats home. She has said she is willing to pay back any money she receives.

Nina, 64, had decided to move back to England and rented a house in Combe Martin, where her daughter lives, after ill health forced her to give up the Greek restaurant she ran in the Spanish town of Denia, between Alicante and Valencia.

A passionate animal lover, she had rescued several during her time abroad and was not about to abandon her five dogs and six cats.

But a missed ferry, a broken down car and then refusal to let her cats onboard the ferry due to paperwork problems, all led to Nina and the dogs on one side of the channel and the cats on the other.

Two months later, cats Linzi, Daisy, Tweeny, Sophie, Lynda and Jimmy are still there and the bill stands at more than 4,000 Euros.

“They mean everything to me,” she told the Gazette.

“If I had known all this would happen I would have stayed in France and brought them back after the three weeks was up. Two of the cats I have had for 13 years, the others for several years each.

“People have a go at me for being so silly with animals, but they are my babies, each one is individual.”

Diana Lewis of North Devon Animal Ambulance spoke to the vet Doctor Francois Borel at his clinic in Ouistreham, Normandy, on Nina’s behalf and he has now agreed to cap the rising bill at 3,000 Euros (around £2,400).

“We have to find a solution,” Dr Borel told the Gazette.

“It is a situation that is very difficult; normally I should have kept the cats for 21 days, but I had hardly any news for a month-and-a-half.

“It would be a big decrease in the bill for me, but I am not going to keep the cats for months and months. We are a veterinary clinic, we are not supposed to keep animals for that long.

“We have to sort it out, in the interest of the animals and for me.”

Dr Borel said he would not have the cats destroyed, but he was very keen to resolve the matter.

Mrs Lewis said North Devon Animal Ambulance could not help directly, but she was willing to make a personal donation to help get the fund raising underway.

If anyone would like to help, Nina can be contacted on 01271 883996.

2 comments

  • ''Willing to pay back the money she is loaned'''....she says...Go to a bank then..There are children who need help here before cats abroad...

    Report this comment

    David Glaholm

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • Point taken David, but not everyone can afford to go to a bank or will get a loan if they ask for one. As for other causes, that's quite true but people are free to choose who or what they support.

    Report this comment

    W Rowe, Barnstaple

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

Coopers Jewellery in Barnstaple High Street

Man will appear before magistrates this morning in connection with Barnstaple incident

Read more
LÉ James Joyce speeds away from Appledore. Picture: Sarah Howells

Gazette reporter Sarah Howells joined the pilot boat on the River Torridge to wave LÉ James Joyce on her way to Ireland this morning (Thursday).

Read more
How the Brunswick Wharf development could look.

Development in Bideford is unanimously approved by councillors after new marina report was submitted.

Read more
16:29
The puma kittens make their first public appearance. Picture: John Hammond

Cute cats make an early first appearance to enjoy the summer sunshine

Read more
08:00
An appeal has been launched to repair the roof at South Molton's St Mary Magdalene Church. Picture: Submitted

Church council launches fundraising appeal and calls for ‘hearts and minds’ to save church.

Read more

Two men from Combe Martin will appear at North Devon Magistrates’ Court over New Year’s Day assault.

Read more
07:00
Picture: Dave Webb

Otter numbers are rising but vehicles remained the animals’ biggest threat, say conservationists.

Read more
Brunswick Wharf in Bideford.

‘Technical anomolies’ in report means Brunswick Wharf application for Bideford remains undecided as it heads to plans committee again today (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 14:21
Former classmates of Barnstaple Girls' Grammar School got together for a joint 70th birthday reunion in Barnstaple on Saturday. Picture: Andy Keeble

Former pupils from all over the world back in town after half a century to share memories of school days – including brown knickers!

Read more
Yesterday, 13:38
How the extension to Atlantic Village is proposed to look.

Bideford shopping centre has applied for extension of time for plans to almost double in size.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder