A DOG lover with two Staffordshire bull terriers claims the previous owner in a council house swap left behind four cats which could be killed by her pets.

Rebecca Bailey, who moved into the property in Penhill last month, says she is being forced to keep her doors and windows closed, even in hot weather, to try and keep the animals apart.

Miss Bailey, 36, is also having to keep her dogs, Shay and Mollie, out of the back garden because she fears they will follow their natural instincts and savage the cats.

She said: “At first the previous tenant said she would get someone to collect the cats.

“It didn’t happen for some reason and since then I have been unable to speak to her as she doesn’t return my calls. “I have contacted the RSPCA, the council and the police but they have said there is nothing they can do as someone on the street is feeding them. “I’m not sure if this is true as they seem to be hungry and coming to my house in search of food, even though the dogs are here. “The previous owner needs to take the cats to their new home and keep them indoors for four weeks.”

Miss Bailey, who lives with her three grown-up children in Odstock Road after a move from Plymouth, says the cats are sleeping in her garden despite the previous owner saying they are being looked after by her next-door neighbour.

“I have got two dogs roaming around and, though Staffordshire bull terriers get wrongly branded as dangerous, their natural instincts would be to rip the cats apart,” she said.

“The cats are the only ones in the neighbourhood which come into the garden and they also jump in through the windows. “They still think this is their home.”

The previous tenant, who did not want to give her name, said the cats were being looked after by her ex-partner, who lives next door.

She said: “Of course they are going to go in people’s gardens as they live on the street.”

But Miss Bailey claims the cats have not been sleeping in her next-door neighbour’s house and they need to be rehomed.