St Albans charity for unwanted cats needs your help
A CHARITY which rescues unwanted cats is struggling to stay afloat after a massive drop in donations during the recession. The local Cats Protection branch is so short of funds that it has been forced to stop taking in any new cats and suspend its free ne
A CHARITY which rescues unwanted cats is struggling to stay afloat after a massive drop in donations during the recession.
The local Cats Protection branch is so short of funds that it has been forced to stop taking in any new cats and suspend its free neutering programme, which prevents many unwanted kittens being born and ending up on the streets.
The branch, which is completely volunteer-run, currently has room for 10 cats with its dedicated fosterers but due to the lack of funding and the costs of food, litter and vets bills it can only keep five.
The minimum veterinary care that cats taken in by Cats Protection receive is flea and worm treatments, health checks, vaccinations, microchipping and blood tests for fatal diseases, all of which costs about �120.
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If neutering is required, the cost rises to �200 per cat and if any illnesses are detected the costs can escalate as high as �2,000
A spokesperson for the branch said: "The last cat we took into care was not very old but had been living in the garden of the owners' new house.
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"The cat was not allowed into the new house after four years of being a loved pet and was sheltering in a cardboard box in the snow.
"He had an eye problem that had been sadly neglected and was nearly blind. His malnutrition also meant he needed extra nourishment and skin care.
"The cost of all this treatment was about �2,000.
"He is happy in his new home now with a caring owner who loves him for the lap cat that he has always wanted to be.
"But our funds have sadly been depleted from stories like this and in order to be able to help the cats we currently have in care looking for new homes, we have had to cut down on taking in any more cats."
The Cats Protection branch is now calling on the public to help them in any way possible so that it can continue its vital work, which last year saw over 110 cats and kittens find loving homes and the neutering of 75 cats in families without the finances to fund it.
A spokesperson for the branch said: "We are all volunteers but we are stretched to the max and need more people to help us.
"Everyone has been hit by the economic crisis and we are no different - we are being pulled by the increasing need of abandoned and stray cats in the area, as well as people wanting to rehome their cats and we cannot meet that need.
"We are only working at half-capacity and would like to be able to do more, but we can't."
If you think you can rehome any cats, help in fundraising, or are in need of some advice about an unwanted cat, contact the branch on 0845 3712064.
Ways you can help the work of Cats Protection
n Volunteer officer - help the branch recruit more volunteers;
n Fundraising committee - help on the committee which will be meeting on March 26 to come up with ideas for fundraising;
n Fundraising officer - help to drive fundraising ideas forward;
n Publicity assistant - put up posters to find cats' homes and help in marketing;
n Events - attend one of the forthcoming events and donate gifts to use in the tombolas;
n Collection boxes - keep a collection box at work;
n Cat food - Donate any spare cat food;
n Toner cartridges - St Albans High School for Girls donates used toner cartridges which raises vital funds for the branch. Can your school or business do the same?
n Unwanted mobile phones - donate your old mobile phone and the branch will receive �2.50 from each one. Call the branch for a special envelope;
n Tin shaking - can you spare one hour every three to four months?