A US cat owner has been awarded a £100,000 settlement after their cat was wrongly fined for bad behaviour. No, seriously.
Washington-based Anna Danieli’s tabby Miska racked up £25,000 worth of fines and violations for allegedly roaming freely and scaring and killing other animals in the area.
Miska was even removed from Danieli’s care back in 2019 after animal control officers complained about the feline, but she has now reached a ‘historic’ settlement after a ruling agreed that Miska was innocent.
It was discovered that the animal control officers who made complaints about Miska actually lived in the same neighbourhood as Danieli.
According to The Mirror, Danieli’s lawyer Jon Zimmerman said of the King County and the City of Bellevue settlement: “This case was about the unjustified and incredible prosecution of a domestic house cat in Bellevue.
“This was really an historic settlement involving a cat in the state of Washington.”
Zimmerman added: "Miss Danieli didn’t even know this individual, who had been the manager of animal control, this individual in her neighbourhood had actually been filling these complaints until later on in the case."
LADbible has approached a spokesperson for the City of Bellevue for comment.
A representative for the Washington State city reportedly said it was ‘committed to improving policies’.
Brad Harwood told Fox13 Seattle: “While this was a unique situation for the City of Bellevue.
"We are hopeful that our updates to city code - regarding civil offences involving animals - will help ensure that future scenarios are resolved earlier and more clearly so pet owners and their neighbours can live without disruption."
Miska’s court battle lasted three years and violation claims by the Regional Animal Services of King County date back to 2014.
Kiro 7 reports that this enabled Danieli to file a lawsuit alleging governmental overreach.
Zimmerman argued that Miska’s violations should be voided as the City of Bellevue failed to properly update its domestic cat code.
The lawyer said in 2020: “Miska is the most prosecuted cat in King County and in the City of Bellevue.”
In turn, Danieli’s legal team were able to seek reimbursement for costs incurred and also bring civil rights claims against the City of Bellevue.
Aside from Danieli’s £100,000 settlement, the lawsuit meant changes were made to Bellevue’s City Code, namely the way civil offences involving animals are heard. Justice for Miska!
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Miska the Cat