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”
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
9:00am Friday 30th January 2015
THE family of man who escaped a mental hospital, fled abroad then hanged himself in a prison cell have said he was let down by Oxford Health.
12:06pm Thursday 29th January 2015
SNOW has been forecast for Oxfordshire on Sunday and Monday and a yellow weather warning is still in place for today.
Oxfordshire County Council chief executive Joanna Simons to stand down in June - and will not be replaced
1:10pm Friday 30th January 2015
OXFORDSHIRE'S biggest local authority will scrap its top unelected position as part of a radical shake-up to save costs, it was revealed today.
1:13pm Friday 30th January 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court accused of three arson attacks in South Oxfordshire, including those that destroyed district council offices and a funeral parlour.
10:34am Friday 30th January 2015
TWO people were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and possession of class A drugs following a police raid.
9:10am Friday 30th January 2015
Traffic has returned to normal after an earlier accident on the A420.