Devastated Wigan cat owner gives stark warning to drivers

A Wigan cat owner has been left devastated after her pet had to be put down after being “sucked into a car engine”.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 7:00 am

Charlie Holmes, the owner of three-year-old Bobby, said she found out about the horrifying incident from a friend on Facebook.

She told of how the black and white tomcat had sought shelter under the bonnet of a car, which had been parked up near Britannia Bridge primary school in Winifred Street, Ince, to keep warm.

The she said Bobby was sucked into the engine when the driver of the Hyundai returned and switched their engine on before driving off.

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Bobby the cat

Later on, the driver realised something was amiss after seeing smoke coming from her engine and stopped the car in Windleshaw Street, lifting the bonnet up and seeing Bobby trapped in the engine.

She then phoned the fire service who rescued Bobby and he was taken to the vet. He suffered horrific injuries to his tail, penis, leg and a foot following the morning incident last Thursday.

And vets told Charlie there was nothing they could do and put Bobby down the next day, with Charlie having to pay costly vets bills.

Mum-of-six Charlie, 43, of Winifred Street, now wants to raise awareness to drivers of the importance of checking under their car and bonnet before switching on their engine.

She said: “I found out about what happened from a friend on Facebook who had been told by the vets as someone in there knew them.

“Bobby had severed the end of his tail and the foot on his left leg had to be cut off to get him out of the car.

“While he lost the end of his penis and had injuries on his right leg.

“I was told by the vets that Bobby was unsaveable and that he was in too much pain.

“I’m devastated and I’ve got two twin daughters who loved Bobby and he was their pet and they have been left heartbroken.”

She added: “I really just want to raise awareness of this and what can happen as you get cars parking all the way up to school.

“People need to check under their cars and bonnet before switching on their engine, as I don’t want other owners to end up losing their pets like I have had to with Bobby.”

Firefighters from Wigan made a similar call to motorists following the incident.

Watch manager Carl Gleaves from Wigan fire station, said: “Drivers need to be aware as when it’s windy and cold, cats will look for some warm spaces to hide in such as under cars and bonnets.

“If you hear any abnormal sounds, please have a look before setting off as it could save you a lot of money and hassle.”

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