The Sun newspaper has apologised to the RSPCA for running a story that falsely claimed the charity had spent £1m on a cattery that looked after just 12 cats.
The story, which appeared on the front page of the newspaper on 14 June, claimed that the home in Headcorn, Kent, was bought by the local RSPCA for £464,935 in 2011 and a further £500,000 had since been spent on the property for improvements, wages and expenses.
But The Sun has apologised to the charity for carrying the story and appears to have removed the article from its website.
The Sun’s apology, which was published on its website on Friday is printed on page two of today’s newspaper in its corrections and clarifications panel, using a smaller font size than the stories on the rest of the page.
It says: "We now accept that the Headcorn cattery houses up to 45 cats in the pens constructed. Since opening in 2011, the cattery has rehomed over 1,300 cats, provided a subsidised vet clinic and contributed to vet bills to help over 1,600 cats.
"Our related article ‘Some pets aren’t so lucky’ claimed that a cat had been put down ‘despite claims it was just scruffy’. We now understand that the cat in question was 16 years old and in poor physical condition when put down.
"We apologise to the RSPCA and any staff and volunteers involved."
It is not clear why it has taken the newspaper more than four months to backtrack on the claims, given that lawyers for the RSPCA wrote to the newspaper on the day the article was published to point out inaccuracies in it.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "We are pleased that The Sun has clarified the significant inaccuracies in its original story and apologised to our dedicated staff and volunteers."
The RSPCA filed a legal complaint on the same day pointing this out. Why does it take 4 months to apologise? https://t.co/ewN8ZxGFkc— The Sun Apologies (@SunApology) October 23, 2017