It’s hard to know where to start. The last few weeks have been quite a trial and things remain pretty dire. Across the region nursing queens, kittens and adult cats are being found, abandoned, unwanted in their droves and it feels like we are in a crisis.


I know we aren’t alone judging by the number of calls we’ve been receiving from members of the public desperate to find somewhere to relinquish their own cats. They tells us they’ve tried everywhere and all the other animal charities are full. I also know we aren’t alone judging by the number of appeals going out from other branches across the region. They are desperate for help with the vast numbers that are in their (frequently abandoned on their doorsteps) that they simply cannot cope.

Laurie the office cat

The situation is nothing new. To be honest it’s the same every summer time. Why people let their unneutered cats outdoors, whether male or female, is beyond me because only one thing will ever come of this; a massive number of unwanted cats and kittens.



We have felt the strain too. At one point, when we’d exhausted all available spaces and asked our foster carers to take in even more, we had a cat dumped on the doorstep of one of our shops. He was unearthed in his pet carrier under a pile of donations. We’ve no idea how long he’d been there for but he was so traumatised that he hid for 10 whole days, only coming out at night. You see we simply had nowhere else to put him so he had to reside in our office in the midst of heatwave temperatures, unable to even open a window to get some air in case he escaped.



What is different about this summer is the dramatic drop in cat and kitten adoptions. We have just ended a 3 week spell of not having a single adult cat find a home. Kittens adoptions are even more worrying. We’ve never been in a position where it’s highly likely that they may grow up to early adulthood in our care.



We’ve had kittens waiting for homes for over 3 weeks now. This is unprecedented for us and makes me fear for their future. You see the older they get the less interested people are in them because they have lost the ‘cute kitten factor’. 



The ones in greatest of trouble are our noirs – black ones to you and I! On average black cats/kittens take 3 times as long to find homes which means kittens like Pansy, Paul and Grady could be nearly fully grown before they find a home.


Paul

Pansy

Grady


The other factor that few people realise is that we need to rehome an animal to be able to take in more. One in one out. It really is as simple as it sounds but few realise that we do not have infinite amount of space.

Today I received calls from our rescue staff amounting to a total of 6 nursing queens and kittens desperate for somewhere to go. we may be able to help one family next week. That’s it.


And just because the focus is all on cats and kittens at the moment it doesn’t mean that the neglect and cruelty cases have stopped. Next week we see two new dogs arrive, one subjected to neglect, the other allegedly violently attacked.


We’ve had a lot of people express their frustration about not being able to get through to the national helpline lately but that just demonstrates how inundated with complaints the national RSPCA is. I truly feel peoples frustration with our own branch’s limitations but that fact us, national RSPCA and all other animal charities do what we do in a voluntary capacity and I’m damn sure we are doing the best we can with the available resources we all have.


There is just one simple solution to the crisis – neuter your pets. If you can’t afford to then ask for help, we’re only too happy if there is a genuine case of need.