ANIMAL lover Miranda Wiggins is facing heartbreak after being told to get rid of three of her pets.
The single mum shares her two-bed council home in Blackbird Leys with son Harry, nine, and a total of 11 animals.
She has lived in the first floor maisonette since 2001 but Oxford City Council has now told her she has to rehome three of her cats.
The 39-year-old told the Oxford Mail: “It is going to break my heart when they go.
“We have tried to appeal against the decision but the council told me there is nothing I can do.
“All these years I have been here I have had not had one complaint against me.”
The single mum has an 11-month-old black labrador called Jet, four cats called Tibbles, Amber, Paws and Squealer, and six rats – Emily, Ellie, Raven, Storm, Snow and Mitsy.
She said she had taken in stray animals and also pets family members could not keep.
But she said all the animals were comfortable at her Starwort Path home, adding: “They are all happy and healthy.”
“I am kind-hearted and I believe when you have an animal it is for life not just for five minutes.
“My oldest cat is older than my son.”
It is understood the city council found out about the animals recently when Ms Wiggins requested permission to keep them all ahead of changes to her tenancy.
She said she has about two weeks to rehome the cats, but she has not yet decided what to do with them.
And the Queen’s College cleaner said she had been told if she did not comply the council would not let her have any of the animals.
Ms Wiggins said: “I am choosing to keep my oldest one out of respect for her. No one will want a pensioner at her age. The other ones might be easier to rehome.”
Son Harry said he would miss Paws who slept on his bed.
He said: “I feel sad. Paws is very close to me.”
Council spokesman Chofamba Sithole said: “Unfortunately the number of pets is too great for the size of this property, a two bedroom first floor maisonette and the owner did not have permission to have any pets at the property.
“We have been reasonable in our decision-making in allowing her to have one dog, one cat and the caged rats at our discretion.
“However, this is still conditional on keeping to the terms of the current and new Tenancy Agreement.”
Aaron Denton, assistant warden at Stadhampton-based Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, said the decision seemed unfair – especially if her pets were happy.
He said: “Unless it is causing any distress to any of the other neighbours I cannot see why it is much of a problem.”
But he said the council had the final say as it was its property, adding: “It is an awkward and not very nice situation”
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11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
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