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Dales and Eden sanctuaries swamped by abandoned kittens
Buy this photo » John Edmondson with a kitten from Eden Animal Rescue.
THE recession is being blamed for a sharp rise in the number of abandoned cats and new-born kittens.
Sanctuaries in the Dales and Eden say they are struggling to cope with the unprecedented increase in dumped felines, which the RSPCA says is being reflected nationally.
Incidents have risen dramatically over the year and with Christmas around the corner – a time renowned for new pets being abandoned – animal rescue groups are appealing for people to act ‘responsibly’.
Bentham and District Pet Rescue has experienced its biggest number of kittens in its history with sanctuaries in Burton-in-Lonsdale and Horton-in-Ribblesdale reaching full capacity.
More than 30 kittens have required homes last month compared to the average five or six.
The group’s secretary, Pam Whitehead, has urged residents to have their cats neutered as this was greatly contributing to the problem.
She said: “We have either found the kittens in shop doorways or in fields or found abandoned cats about to give birth to the kittens.
“If you have a female cat do please arrange to have them neutered so that the number of new kittens can be kept under control.”
Eden Animal Rescue said it had had a big increase in the amount of abandoned older cats this year which animal administrator Tricia Graham, blamed on the recession.
“Over this year a lot of older cats have been found abandoned.
"It is a lot more stressful for older cats to be rehomed and they aren’t as easy to find owners for.
"Lots of rented homes do not allow pets and I think with more people moving into rented accommodation due to the recession people have had to leave their cats behind.
“People should never give an animal as a present.
"If anyone is thinking about it for this Christmas we urge everyone to talk to the person first, it’s a big responsibility and its should be given thought.”
The RSPCA announced that it had rescued 8,455 abandoned kittens and cats this year compared to the 5,945 last year.