Hackney council spent £19k on 'luxury' hotel for four abandoned cats

Councils spend £1million in two years caring for pets abandoned by owners in ill-health including £19,000 on luxury accommodation for four cats

  • EXCLUSIVE: Hackney council spent £19,000 on a ‘luxury pet hotel’ for four cats
  • The ‘luxury pet hotel’ offers feline guests underfloor heating and even manicures
  • Under the Care Act, councils must care for pets abandoned due to owner illness
  • Over the past two years, councils have had to look after 572 cats and 464 dogs 
  • Liverpool council spent a table-topping £220k in two years on stopgap pet care
  • Unusual pets like a cockatoo, a terrapin and ferrets also landed in councils’ care 

Councils have spent over £1million pounds in two years looking after pets abandoned by people in poor health – with one local authority spending £19,000 on luxury accommodation for four cats.

Under the Care Act, local councils are responsible for pets when people are hospitalised, if no friends or family can step in to feed, water and otherwise care for the animals.

The London Borough of Hackney looked after 34 cats and five dogs over the two years.

In one instance, Hackney officials spent £19,027 putting up four cats in Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel – which offers its ‘guests’ underfloor heating, a manicuring pad and even an air-conditioned chauffeuring service. 

Liverpool City Council alone spent £222,000 in the last two years caring for 73 cats, 53 dogs and 26 pets of other species – in one case spending £10,000 on bed and board for a single pampered pooch.

Councils responding to a Freedom of Information probe by gambling firm Buzz Bingo revealed from 2020 to 2022 local authorities looked after 572 cats, 464 dogs and 190 animals of other species – including a terrapin and a cockatoo – after their owners suffered ill health. Pictured: Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel

The figures come from a Freedom of Information survey of local authorities, probing how many heartbroken pets ended up in councils’ care from 2020 to 2022 – and at what cost to taxpayers.

Plymouth City Council were left to care for 52 ownerless pets – including a terrapin, which was looked after for three months at a cost of £999 before being rehomed.

Four goats were forced into the care of Nottinghamshire County Council, where officials also wound up responsible for 14 rabbits, four guinea pigs and three hamsters.

Two forsaken ferrets were rehomed by Hartlepool Borough Council at a cost to taxpayers of £200.

Hackney Borough Council did not respond to a request by MailOnline for comment on their costly choice of bed and board for four spoiled felines. Pictured: A bird’s-eye view of Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel, where Hackney officials sent four abandoned cats at a cost of £19,000

In the London Borough of Enfield, officials were lumped with a cockatoo in November 2020, which they spent £930 on before managing to find it a forever home.

From 2020 to 2022, 57 local authorities responding to a Freedom of Information probe by gambling firm Buzz Bingo said they cared for 1,226 animals between them.

The animals cared for by councils over the two years included 572 cats and 464 dogs, coming to a total cost of £1.08million. 

MailOnline contacted Hackney Borough Council for a comment but received no response. 

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