Are you thinking of creating flyers for your missing pet? Think again as it may land you with an £80–£200-plus fine issued by your local council.
Can you put posters up in public? Is it illegal to tape flyers to postboxes for lost pets? Flyposting refers to the unlawful display of anything pasted, painted, or attached on structures, including street furniture, buildings, trees, and pavement without the proper consent of the owner.
In Scotland, the Town and Country Planning Act 1997 stated consent to local authorities to take away any posters without notifying owners. Moreover, a person who posts posters in violation of Advertising Regulations is considered guilty of an offence. Once proven, fines can go up to £200.
As stated in the guidance, “Personal notices often include notices for lost pets, birthday greetings, personal messages, etc.” However, election posters are considered to involve planning consent, which means it is not flyposting.
The said implementation may receive criticisms, but the fact remains that not every pet owner is aware of it. Here are some instances with owners posting lost-pet flyers that ended with fine threats.
Lost cat posters in Bedford
Just like any other pet owners with missing pets, Mike Harding ended up frantic. He was ready to offer a reward for the safe return of Wookie, his seven-year-old cat that he had since it was a kitten.
He spent hours putting up thirty-five posters on trees, lamp posts, and parking meters to alert the neighbourhood of his missing cat. However, the phone call he received is not a person who found his pet but the council, warning him of breaking the law. He was accused of breaking the law with his flyposting. Harding apologised for breaking such law, which he knows nothing about, and promised that he would take the posters down. But when he got home at 8:30 pm on the 23rd of December, he received an official letter that if the posters were not removed, he would land with a £1,000 fine and would be prosecuted. He needs to get all the posters removed before 9 am on the 24th of December.
“I’m a law-abiding citizen yet I’m being threatened with a £1,000 fine for looking for my cat. You would think the council would have some compassion,” he said. He rushed to remove the posters even in sub-zero temperatures before the deadline runs out. The matter with the authority may have been resolved, but the cat remains missing.
Lost pet posters in Swansea
Greta Vaiciunaite put up posters around Uplands and Brynmill in the hopes of finding her twelve-year-old missing cat Louie, a Manx. She said she did it following advice by vets and other organisations. However, she also received a phone call from a council worker. She was told to remove her posters or she would receive a fine of £75. “I got really upset as, after all those hours putting the posters up, they were getting ripped off for no reason,” said the psychology student. She did not like the idea that her posters were treated like those with club promoters when hers had no financial gain behind them. “We are not getting paid for this—we are just trying to get our pet back,” she added. “There shouldn’t be an issue with a cat poster.”
What do you do with lost animals?
There are other ways that you could do aside from putting up posters in the area. There is still hope—read our post about How to Find a Missing Cat for more information. Here are some more tips:
- Ask permission from local shops and restaurants to have your missing posters displayed inside their properties.
- Put up posters on your window, fence, as well as a car window.
- Check with local newspapers or local radio to put an advertisement on lost pets.
- Check with organisations in case your pet was already turned over. The RSPCA advice line is on 0300 1234 999.
- Ensure that your pet is microchipped with updated contact details. This is the easiest way on how your furry companion can be reunited with you.