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New cattery does little to ease the strain on rescue centre

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 20, 2014

RSPCA centre workers Pat Boden and Pauline Harrison

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HOMELESS moggies are continuing to be turned away from Burton’s RSPCA centre on an almost daily basis despite the opening of its new cattery.

The enclosure has been opened at the Stretton centre in a bid to combat its cat crisis and has allowed it to increase capacity by 50 per cent.

The site has struggled in recent years to cope with the shear number of cats in need of a new home and the 12 new spaces have quickly been filled, with the centre again at bursting point.

Centre manager Yvonne Asker said she was not surprised by how quickly the new cattery had become full.

She said: “We now have 36 spaces but we’re full already. We knew we were still going to be full – there is still a long waiting list.

“People are just bringing them in left, right and centre.

“Our priority is to take them from vets and inspectors rather than people wanting to bring cats in, so there are a lot of people waiting.”

While there are many moggies coming in, the centre is also struggling to find them new homes, which has led to the backlog.

“We’ve had to turn one away this morning, we just couldn’t take him in. We’re just not rehoming many, unfortunately,” Mrs Asker said.

The addition of the new cattery has at least allowed staff to take in more cats which would otherwise have been turned away, but Mrs Asker said the responsibility to ease the strain on rescue centres, such as the one in Hillfield Lane, lies with owners.

She said: “People need to be responsible for cats, they need to realise that if they are going to have one that cats are for life.”

The centre manager said the main reasons they are having to rescue so many cats is that owners are not having their pets neutered or spayed, meaning kittens are continually being born and quickly given away by owners who can’t look after them.

Mrs Asker is hopeful the situation will improve if it becomes compulsory to have dogs and cats microchipped.

She said: “Cats are always wondering into lorries and getting lost. If they are not microchipped, that’s it.

“When it is made compulsory it will make it a lot easier.”

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