East Lancashire animal charities at crisis point

Two kittens abandoned last week

Two kittens abandoned last week

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

ANIMAL charities have said they ‘cannot cope’ following a huge increase in the number of cats being dumped in East Lancashire.

The warning comes as one rescue group said two kittens and their mother had been abandoned in the middle of a street in a cardboard box covered by bricks.

The volunteers said they had collected 14 cats from ‘emergency situations’ in just two days this week.

Other groups, including the RSPCA, Cats Protection and Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary, said staff and volunteers were struggling to deal with lengthy waiting lists of pets that needed to be re-homed.

They said the number of cases had rocketed in the last year, and feared the problem would only get worse due to the upcoming breeding season and impending benefit reforms affecting homeowners and those with low income.

The three cats found in the cardboard box were spotted in Irene Street, Burnley, and taken to a vet for treatment.

Burnley and Pendle Cats Protection said they were just the latest animals they had been asked to care for.

It has a waiting list of more than 150 cats which owners wanted to get rid of, but only 12 spaces in its foster carers’ homes.

Welfare officer Leanne Laycock said the 14 cats her team collected at the weekend were ‘the most we have ever had in two days’.

She formed the Burnley and Pendle branch, which now has 22 volunteers, in 2009 after kittens were left on her own doorstep in Nelson.

Leanne said: “The number of cases we are dealing with is totally abnormal and very stressful, we can’t cope. We managed to re-home seven at the weekend and have viewings for three more today but we only have space for 12 cats at a time.

“We depend entirely on volunteers opening up their houses and looking after them until we find them a permanent home.”

Leanne said the problem had grown dramatically over the last year, up from just a handful a week needing new homes.

She said: “On average we now get asked to take about 20 cats per week, and last week was even more busy.”

“People, when they’re getting a cat, need to find out more beforehand. Some people take cats in for free, either off the street or from friends who’ve had kittens, and don’t realise the upkeep needed. Females can get pregnant from only four months old and I don’t think people realise they need neutering that young.”

She said the group held 26 fundraisers last year and spent £20,000 on neutering.

Jean Graham, a co-ordinator at Blackburn and District Cats Protection, said her branch had done away with a waiting list because it simply didn’t have enough volunteers to deal with all the requests.

She said: “We get phone calls all day, every day and it’s only going to get worse. The next month or two is breeding season and although neutering is key, funds are limited.

“With the benefits system changing in April, I fear people will have less money to spend on their pets.”

The branch passes on cases it cannot deal with to the RSPCA and Moggies Cat Rescue in Darwen.

Moggies, though, is also full to capacity and Maureen Savage, who runs the centre in her spare time, said she was becoming overwhelmed with requests to take people’s pets.

She said: “Every evening when I get home from work there are always calls from people wanting their cat taken into care. My waiting list is endless.”

Jeanette Ainscough, centre manager at the RSPCA Lancashire East headquarters in Altham Animal Centre, said her inspectors had been constantly busy since Christmas.

She said: “We’ve collected 19 stray cats and five kittens already this year. Our waiting list is 30 at the moment.

“Cats are definitely a big problem compared to other pets, we are being over-run with them.

“The last year has seen numbers peak and I can’t stress enough the need for neutering.”

Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary said its cats department had also been inundated with people struggling after Christmas.

A spokesman said: “The increase we’re finding is mainly to do with people in rented accommodation not being allowed pets.

“More and more people are coming to us with that reason and there’s a real panic because everyone is in the same boat. we’re always full.”

Comments (11)

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10:53am Thu 17 Jan 13

jimpy0 says...

Put them down ...... problem solved.
Put them down ...... problem solved. jimpy0
  • Score: 0

11:28am Thu 17 Jan 13

useyourhead says...

jimpy0 wrote:
Put them down ...... problem solved.
I have to agree, although I am an animal lover myself there is a growing problem with the numbers of unwanted animals, it will get worse too I feel. The only alternative is to put them down relatively quickly if not claimed or homed, say two or three weeks as they in a lot of overseas refuges.
[quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: Put them down ...... problem solved.[/p][/quote]I have to agree, although I am an animal lover myself there is a growing problem with the numbers of unwanted animals, it will get worse too I feel. The only alternative is to put them down relatively quickly if not claimed or homed, say two or three weeks as they in a lot of overseas refuges. useyourhead
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Thu 17 Jan 13

jimpy0 says...

Sell em to Tesco for burgers ....................
.......... FFS people joke LOL
Sell em to Tesco for burgers .................... .......... FFS people joke LOL jimpy0
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Skookie says...

jimpy0 wrote:
Put them down ...... problem solved.
Same could be said about alot of inhumane humans...problem solved.
[quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: Put them down ...... problem solved.[/p][/quote]Same could be said about alot of inhumane humans...problem solved. Skookie
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Thu 17 Jan 13

AndyW says...

Skookie wrote:
jimpy0 wrote:
Put them down ...... problem solved.
Same could be said about alot of inhumane humans...problem solved.
Absolutely.

This newspaper is full every day of people who society would benefit from being pit down.
[quote][p][bold]Skookie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: Put them down ...... problem solved.[/p][/quote]Same could be said about alot of inhumane humans...problem solved.[/p][/quote]Absolutely. This newspaper is full every day of people who society would benefit from being pit down. AndyW
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Thu 17 Jan 13

2 for 5p says...

Solution :

Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on.
failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison.
There simples.
Solution : Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on. failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison. There simples. 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Thu 17 Jan 13

ste.g says...

i know a good chinese that would take them of your hands
i know a good chinese that would take them of your hands ste.g
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Thu 17 Jan 13

bigdee123 says...

2 for 5p wrote:
Solution :

Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on.
failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison.
There simples.
i have to agree.. the problem is,scumbags get the cats, and its the old cliche "cats can look after themselves"
they dont neuter or spay. (even though this is free if your on benefits) they get bored and then just let the cats fend for themselves. which usually involves wildlife being wiped out.
we are over run with cats. plus, unlike dogs, you can just let them roam free.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Solution : Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on. failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison. There simples.[/p][/quote]i have to agree.. the problem is,scumbags get the cats, and its the old cliche "cats can look after themselves" they dont neuter or spay. (even though this is free if your on benefits) they get bored and then just let the cats fend for themselves. which usually involves wildlife being wiped out. we are over run with cats. plus, unlike dogs, you can just let them roam free. bigdee123
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Thu 17 Jan 13

McAbsent says...

2 for 5p wrote:
Solution :

Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on.
failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison.
There simples.
Scummy people can't afford? Define scummy people. What about ultra-rich scummy people?

And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped.

Cats in some countries roam free, Venice for instance. Would be an idea to free them near sewage areas to control rats & other pets perhaps?
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Solution : Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on. failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison. There simples.[/p][/quote]Scummy people can't afford? Define scummy people. What about ultra-rich scummy people? And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped. Cats in some countries roam free, Venice for instance. Would be an idea to free them near sewage areas to control rats & other pets perhaps? McAbsent
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Thu 17 Jan 13

BurnleyBorn&Bred says...

McAbsent wrote:
2 for 5p wrote:
Solution :

Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on.
failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison.
There simples.
Scummy people can't afford? Define scummy people. What about ultra-rich scummy people?

And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped.

Cats in some countries roam free, Venice for instance. Would be an idea to free them near sewage areas to control rats & other pets perhaps?
"And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped."

is this because it would be traced back to you when you dumped the poor thing.........never heard anything so stupid....bet you dont believe in neutering either ...
[quote][p][bold]McAbsent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Solution : Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on. failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison. There simples.[/p][/quote]Scummy people can't afford? Define scummy people. What about ultra-rich scummy people? And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped. Cats in some countries roam free, Venice for instance. Would be an idea to free them near sewage areas to control rats & other pets perhaps?[/p][/quote]"And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped." is this because it would be traced back to you when you dumped the poor thing.........never heard anything so stupid....bet you dont believe in neutering either ... BurnleyBorn&Bred
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Thu 17 Jan 13

McAbsent says...

BurnleyBorn&Bred wrote:
McAbsent wrote:
2 for 5p wrote:
Solution :

Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on.
failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison.
There simples.
Scummy people can't afford? Define scummy people. What about ultra-rich scummy people?

And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped.

Cats in some countries roam free, Venice for instance. Would be an idea to free them near sewage areas to control rats & other pets perhaps?
"And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped."

is this because it would be traced back to you when you dumped the poor thing.........never heard anything so stupid....bet you dont believe in neutering either ...
Nah, it's just a personal choice, never liked the idea of chipping, not that I'm judging other people if they choose to, just my choice.

Apologies if you find my choice of not chipping as stupid, alas I think you're kinda over-zealous to suggest I would dump my cat. Strange.
[quote][p][bold]BurnleyBorn&Bred[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]McAbsent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Solution : Introduce a cat licence set the price at a level that scummy people can't afford with the licence the cat would have to be chiped. Then anyone who abandonds a cat would be banned from owning another, if tat cat had kittens the cat owner would be responsible for the kittens licences and being chiped before being sold on. failure to comply heavy fine and possible prison. There simples.[/p][/quote]Scummy people can't afford? Define scummy people. What about ultra-rich scummy people? And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped. Cats in some countries roam free, Venice for instance. Would be an idea to free them near sewage areas to control rats & other pets perhaps?[/p][/quote]"And I wouldn't be comfortable with my cat being chipped." is this because it would be traced back to you when you dumped the poor thing.........never heard anything so stupid....bet you dont believe in neutering either ...[/p][/quote]Nah, it's just a personal choice, never liked the idea of chipping, not that I'm judging other people if they choose to, just my choice. Apologies if you find my choice of not chipping as stupid, alas I think you're kinda over-zealous to suggest I would dump my cat. Strange. McAbsent
  • Score: 0

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