A five-year-old girl has been left devastated after her pet cat went missing and was mistakenly re-homed to another family.
The cat, named Precious, was found about 1.5km from her home in Cumbernauld, Scotland, and was handed into an animal welfare charity despite the fact that she was wearing a collar.
Precious' owner Deborah Cameron and her young daughter started to get worried when the feline didn't return home the next day.
In a desperate bid to find the lost pet, Ms Cameron contacted local vets and animal shelters to leave a description of her cat.
She also contacted the Cats Protection charity - unknowingly the same organisation that Precious had been handed into - and asked them to get in touch with her if they had seen the cat.
Two weeks passed with no contact before Ms Cameron became aware of a post online by a welfare group called Harvey's Army.
Members of the group had seen Precious and thinking she was a stray, they took her to a "safe place" before handing her into the Cats Protection in Glasgow - 35 kilometres from her home.
By the time the family traced Precious, Cats Protection had rehomed her, just a few days prior.
Ms Cameron desperately explained her situation to the charity who then got in contact with the adoptive family. However, they refused to return Precious to her original home.
The family was told the only way to get Precious back was was to fight for her through a civil court.
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A statement from a spokesperson for Cats Protection said that they "understand the upset a situation like this can cause" but they were not able to "compel the new owners to return Precious".
"This unfortunate incident highlights how important it is for all pet cats to be microchipped," the spokesperson said.
Precious wasn't microchipped but appeared to be in good health so the charity said they made attempts at locating the owner, including putting posters up around the neighbourhood.
The organisation keeps animals for two weeks to allow owners enough time to claim the animal before rehoming them.
The family are arguing that the charity did not take due diligence in the rehoming process as the cat was rehomed out of the borders of the local unit.
"We miss her so much we would do anything for our baby back home where she belongs and that is with her real family," Ms Cameron wrote on Facebook.
"I raised this cat from four weeks old. I bottle fed her because she stopped feeding from her mummy so I became her mummy and now she has been taken away from us and we are completely devastated over what has happened."