The people of Great Britain have many outstanding qualities.
A sense of fair play, when it suits them; a strong desire to tell other nations how they should run their country; a complete inability to achieve anything in any of the sports they helped invent and codify.
However, I put it to you that the British people’s greatest virtue (or most irritating trait – you decide) is their love of animals.
We regularly will get told by a Bailiff or an agent, or sometimes by our customers themselves, that they have pets on their property; sometimes a large number of pets, sometimes a whole flipping zoo.
We’ll get told by the Bailiff that there is a tropical aquarium bubbling away in a one-bed flat that the owner has abandoned. Otherwise, it’ll be lizards and snakes…everywhere.
Interestingly, it is usually the people who profess to love their animals the most – “I have 15 cats and I adore them. What about my cats?!” – who are the quickest to dump them.
They will just leave them all locked up in the house or, worse, locked outside the house and scarper.
We usually have to pay for animal handlers to attend and remove the little critters. An animal handler will cost up to £180 plus VAT and they will only handle two animals. If you have more than two, you can imagine the costs.
One thing we have noticed, however, is that bailiffs genuinely are put off by dogs.
It’s a fairly regular occurrence that we’ll get a bailiff calling up to say he is not going ahead with a repossession, because there is a big scary dog slobbering menacingly at the front gate.
Maybe it’s worth getting a pet after all.