Street beggars in Edinburgh are being investigated by an animal welfare charities after complaints that they drugged their kittens to prevent them from running away.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) is monitoring beggars in Princes Street after a number of men were seen begging with kittens that “look like they are on drugs”.
The pressure group Scotland for Animals said the unusually “dopey” appearance and behaviour of the animals suggested that they had been drugged. John Patrick, of the animal welfare group, said: “In my opinion, and in that of others, the cats look drugged and in a state of distress. A cat would not normally sit on someone’s knee like that in a noisy environment.”
The men were reportedly seen begging with the kittens outside the House of Fraser department store.
One member of staff at the shop, who did not want to be named, told The Scotsman she had seen one of the kittens. “It was tiny and it could hardly open its eyes,” she said.
David Thompson, 57, a homeless man begging with his dog, said: “I thought there was something strange about the kittens – they looked dopey and I was worried about them.”
Police have since charged two men in connection with the complaints.