PROTECTIVE pet Abbi came to the rescue to warn her owners of an intruder.
Victoria Rumsey was alerted to someone in her back garden after she heard the cat growling in the hallway.
And thanks to Abbi’s warning, Victoria was able to alert the police and intruder Nicky Russell, who had taken the house’s back door key, was caught.
The 35-year-old, of no fixed abode, was arrested and charged with one count of burglary on June 10, the night of the incident. He pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court and will be sentenced this month.
Victoria, from Rowner in Gosport, said Abbi has always been protective and has become more so in recent months.
She was adopted three years ago from Gosport Cats Protection and the loving pet became attentive when Victoria became pregnant with one-year-old Emily.
If it wasn’t for Abbi, we wouldn’t have known until the morningVictoria Rumsey
So when she realised someone was in the back garden, she started growling outside Victoria’s bedroom.
The 26-year-old said: ‘Abbi has always been really protective of Emily, right from when I was pregnant with her.
‘She would follow me around when I was pregnant and would stay close.
‘When Emily was born, she became even more protective and is always close to Emily. If Emily wakes up crying in the middle of the night, Abbi will let us know.
‘I heard her growling in the hallway so got up to check on Emily. She was fast asleep but Abbi was still growling and hissing.
‘I looked out the window and saw the back gate open. We normally keep it locked so it was strange to see it open.
‘I checked the back door and the key was gone too. I knew someone must have taken it.’
Victoria rang the police immediately who attended and took details from her.
A police dog was brought in to search the area and Russell was caught.
He was seen trying all the back garden gates, along the back of Withies Road.
Victoria added: ‘Nothing like this has ever happened to us before and it was a little scary.
‘If it wasn’t for Abbi, we wouldn’t have known until the morning when we realised the key was missing.
‘If that had happened, I would have been so worried that he might come back because he had the back door key.
‘So it is a relief to know that they police found him so quickly.
‘They were brilliant and attended really quickly.
‘It is nice knowing they respond to suspicious activity so quickly.’
Residents are being asked to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity they may see.