Hunt for missing cat believed to have been 'dumped' at Beaulieu aerodrome
A CAT owner has been left “absolutely heartbroken” after her pet was allegedly taken from near her Pennington home and dumped in the Forest.
Eileen Lemon and her partner Julia Town said they were distraught after ginger tabby George, a rescue animal from Romania, vanished on 2nd February from their neighbourhood.
After searching for days, Eileen posted a picture and appeal on social media about George, who is less than two years old saying he was lost.
Eileen was then 'shocked' to be contacted by a professional dog walker who, on the day George went missing, reported seeing a cat being released from a cage at the disused Beaulieu aerodrome and "shooed away”.
Eileen said: “I cannot believe that anyone can do this. We are so worried about George being out there on his own. He must be terrified."
Since then, the community has rallied round to help her find him. A massive search is under way with experts using thermal imaging cameras, drones, and humane traps to try to recover him.
She added: “The response has been absolutely overwhelming. I’ve had hundreds of messages, shares of my post, people offering help.
"People have been up there searching but we are now asking them to stay away while the expert Peter Hawkins does his work, as its best for the area to be as quiet as possible.
“Peter has been marvellous, going up there for hours even through the night. Me and Julia have been lots of times, calling for George, taking him food and leaving something that smells of us. But so far, no luck.”
There have been several sightings of George who Eileen describes as a “very cheeky, a very loveable character”.
Eileen said: “The saddest thing is that we got him as a rescue from Romania and he travelled here for two days in a lorry on his pet passport.
"He arrived safely on 11th November 2020 and has been living very happily here. All the neighbours know him as he likes to march up and down the road all day.
“We are just devastated that he isn’t home with us.”
Hampshire police confirmed it is investigating the disappearance of George. A spokesperson said: “I can confirm that we received a report from a member of public relating to the theft of a cat on Saturday 5th February just before 5pm.
"We are currently investigating and following up on reasonable lines of enquiry."