May 21 2013 Latest news:
BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor
Friday, October 19, 2012
PETS are becoming a product of today’s throwaway society – leading to an epidemic of kittens and puppies.
■ Blue Cross research in East Anglia found 38pc of pet owners had not had their animals neutered because they didn’t feel it was necessary.
■ Some 13pc of cat owners and 12pc of dog owners in the region said pets in their household had been caught out by an unexpected litter.
■ The charity has neutered 10,000 dogs and cats since January 2011.
■ Double the number of “handbag dogs” have been left at the charity’s centres in 2012 compared to four years ago.
Officials at Felixstowe’s Blue Cross animal rescue centre say the breeding market is saturated and it’s too easy for people to get rid of animals they no longer want or feel are fashionable, such as the tiny pampered pooches known as “handbag dogs”.
The Walton High Street centre currently has been overwhelmed by record numbers of dumped animals and currently has 15 kittens needing homes and more than 80 pets on its waiting lists.
To try to combat the shocking increase in the amount of unwanted litters the charity is urging government to take action to stop irresponsible breeding and launching a Big Neutering Campaign to try to stem the problem.
Centre manager Andrew Gillon said: “We’re seeing pets increasingly being treated like disposable items.
“The problem is that supply is greater than demand and we currently have a full centre with over 80 pets on our waiting list.
“While charities like Blue Cross will always be there to give needy pets a healthy, happy future we must reverse this trend so unwanted litters are not disposed of like rubbish and neutering your pet becomes the norm.”
Unwanted kittens, puppies and pregnant pets had reached epidemic levels with the number of pets born at Blue Cross centres after their pregnant mothers were abandoned or given up having nearly doubled compared with four years ago, plus a 70pc increase in kittens in the last year.
One cat called Hope was dumped in a cat carrier in the car park overnight during a storm. She was soaked through and heavily pregnant. She gave birth to four kittens two days later.
Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton said: “Owners can do their bit by supporting our neutering campaign but we need government action to discourage irresponsible breeders who make it easy to get a pet on impulse, and just as easy to discard.
“We are calling on decision makers to change laws so that everyone who owns more than one dog capable of breeding should be identified as a breeder and visible to authorities.
“Blue Cross believes that this would discourage casual breeders who are producing pups in an already saturated market.”