Family Fights to Keep Serval Cat


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By Karen Harrison Binette

In a touching show of loyalty to a cherished pet, Kim Shaheen and his family say they will move from Regina, Saskatchewan to British Columbia, if necessary, rather than give up Jagger, their Serval cat. Kim says Jagger is like a child that he and his wife expect to have with their family for 20 years.

Jagger was born in British Columbia, Canada but, due to his roots as an undomesticated African cat, the province of Saskatchewan deems him a wild animal not allowed to be kept as a pet. The Shaheens got Jagger eight months ago from a breeder in BC, but received a letter from the Saskatchewan government last week saying the cat is prohibited in the province because Serval cats are considered wild animals, and hence, pose a threat to public safety and the environment.The family was given until the end of this month to get rid of their pet, but the province’s wild animal reguations are meanwhile under review.

Kim Shaheen is trying to obtain a permit to keep Jagger but has not been successful so far. He told CBC news, “Probably my wife would move immediately with him, and then we’d have to figure out what we’re going to do with the family and the house and everything,” if there has been no resolution in their favor or a hold on the notice by the end of November. The family would relocate to BC, where they can legally keep the cat. Kim disputes that Jagger, who is registered with the family’s home city of Regina, is wild. He makes the case for his buddy’s domesticated manners to a visiting video crew.


UPDATE, November 11: The Shaheens were notified by Ministry of Environment on Wednesday that their case is under review, and Jagger can remain with his family in the meanwhile.

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