Local animal rescue charity APAH has asked us to help highlight the
enormous problem that APAH and other animal charities are facing given
the deluge of abandoned kittens. Litters of kittens are being dumped at the
Cattery, on the doorstep of the Charity Shop and even brought into the
shop in boxes and just left for volunteers to find.
The latest incident was last Tuesday when someone put a Supermarket
shopping basket containing five, four week old kittens over the Cattery
fence. They were terrified, dehydrated, starving and their fur had been
burnt by contact with a caustic substance.
The local animal charities are overwhelmed with the number of kittens that
are being dumped. No-one stops to consider the implications, both
financial and practical of expecting charities to keep on finding the space
and the money to care for litter after litter of kittens.
There is never an attempt made to donate money towards the cost of
caring for the kittens. The food bill and veterinary care alone is a severe
strain on charities, which already have a Cattery full of cats to care for.
An APAH spokesperson said: “There is simply not enough money, space or
volunteers to deal with the problem, but the kittens just keep on coming.
If a charity was to turn away kittens, or have them put to sleep, the
backlash from members of the public would be enormous, and yet people
think that it's perfectly acceptable to dump them, that charities the have
limitless space and money to keep taking them in.
“One of the commonest terms used is 'it's only one', and surely you have
room for one more. When you have taken twenty or more calls in a day,
that 'one more' becomes twenty or thirty. Four calls taken in a day with
litters ranging from four to eight, can mean sixteen to thirty two kittens, and
that's in an average day.”
No charity wants to have to refuse help, but with the best will in the World,
full has to be full. You cannot just keep squeezing more and more cats and
kittens into a space and expect it to be okay. The cats already in the
charity’s care begin to suffer, and that cannot be allowed to happen. So
unfortunately, people's request for help is sadly refused. Unfortunately, the
next step is often to dump the kittens somewhere and just walk away.
Adult cats both domestic and feral have to be neutered. According to the
charities this is the only way this escalating problem is going to stop. Cat
owners themselves are responsible for the level of breeding that goes on
and responsible owners will do the right thing, but unfortunately some do
not. It is not easy to control the level of feral cats, but many charities are
willing to work with communities to try to keep the numbers down by
helping trap feral adult cats. If members of communities work together to
collect the money needed, charities would be able to help them keep the
cat population down.