The RSPCA in Bradford has seen a surge in the number of people re-homing cats after mounting an emergency appeal amid what it described as its worst welfare crisis on record.
The charity’s centre in Mount Street found new homes for 44 cats during January – an increase of 40 per cent on December – two months after an inspector told how it was being forced to turn away abandoned cats and kittens because it had been inundated with animals dumped by their owners.
The Telegraph & Argus reported in October how Inspector Emma Ellis, who has worked for the charity for nine years, said it was being forced to use emergency accommodation for the animals – and even pet shops in the district had been turning away cats and kittens because they could not sell them.
But a manager at the Bradford branch last night said that while it still has 88 cats in its care, it had seen an influx of people getting in touch about re-homing animals thanks to increased publicity and a new Facebook page ‘promoting’ its animals to 2,250 followers.
Mandy Miller, centre manager, said: “Our staff have been posting pictures and videos of the animals coming in and writing a bit about how they came to be with us.
“I think it brings home what these animals have been through and people really feel for them.
“The response has been really positive and things are definitely picking up.
“We’re not just seeing kittens getting re-homed, but some of our longer-staying cats – which is fantastic to see. We just hope it continues.”
The charity, which last year started its emergency appeal for help, described that it had reached ‘breaking point’, and said it only re-homed 11 cats and kittens last May and 18 in June.
That figure rose steadily during the year, with staff at the centre finding new homes for 33 animals by December.
But the manager said it was still seeing a high number of cats and kittens being dumped at its doors.
“We have got 88 cats at the minute and that will go up and up,” said Mrs Miller.
“But the fact we’re re-homing so many is positive because if we can get some out, we have more space to take new ones in.
“We are trying to concentrate on working on emergency cases but we often find cats and kittens abandoned at our doors.”
To donate to the RSPCA’s urgent animal welfare crisis appeal, call 0300 123 8181 or visit rspca.org.uk/crisisappeal For more information about adopting an animal, visit rspca-bradford.org.uk or call the RSPCA Bradford centre on (01274) 723063.
Search for ‘RSPCA Bradford & District Branch’ on facebook.com.