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RSPCA warns cat crisis in Hampshire at worst for 25 years
HAMPSHIRE’S main RSPCA animal centre is having its worst cat crisis in a quarter of a century, its chairman has warned.
Chairman Penny Lynch said the situation was the worst it has been in her 25-year involvement.
She said resources were being stretched to the limit.
Mrs Lynch said numbers had gradually been increasing for the past three years and it had now reached the point where there was a waiting list of two months to bring cats in, with emergency and stray cases taking priority.
On top of that the centre is having to pay veterinary surgeries to keep strays they have treated until it has room to accommodate them at its Ranvilles Lane base.
Now staff are appealing for people to give their cats a good home.
Among their longest stay visitors are three cats that have been at the shelter for at least a year. So far this year, the shelter has taken in 372 cats and 251 have been adopted.
The centre said increasing numbers of cats need rehoming as owners struggle to afford them.
Mrs Lynch believes the financial situation is at the route of the problem, with people being forced to move house to properties that do not allow pets or being unable to afford vet bills.
She added that owners are still not neutering their animals and as a consequence they are seeing more unwanted kittens.
“It’s always been a problem, but I have never known it as bad as this,” she said.
“I just don’t know where it’s going to end. It’s very sad.”
Head of the Ark’s cattery Marianne Thompson said: “We are struggling and we need help. We see cats coming into the shelter every day. However, some are left waiting longer to find their forever home.”
It costs £3,000 per day to keep the centre running.
Anyone who can help rehome any animal can call the shelter on 01329 667541.
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