Cute kittens need loving home

CAN you help to give these cute kittens a home?

CAN you help to give these cute kittens a home?

The RSPCA centre in Martlesham is now at its full capacity for cats and kittens - mirroring the region's trend for a growing number of them being abandoned.

They are desperate to re-home the pets and have also warned more people to micro-chip their own animals so they can be easily identified if lost.

For the third year in a row the Eastern region has reported a rise in the number of cats abandoned. In 2006 there were 2,020 cats picked up by RSPCA officers and this rose to 2,519 in 2007.

The centre in Mill Lane currently has 30 cats and kittens, plus six others in boarding and a long waiting list of more to come in. The RSPCA believes this is due to a failure of cat owners getting their pets micro-chipped and then going off on holiday and leaving them to fend for themselves.

Kieron Adams, manager, said: “It is a nightmare. We are going through a really bad stage at the moment in terms of cats being abandoned. People do not seem to want their cats anymore. We see a lot of strays come in.

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“Everyone should get their cats micro-chipped. Some of these cats that come to us are much loved pets but if they are not micro-chipped, it is not easy to identify them.

“We are in kitten season now so we are starting to get some more come in. There are far more this year than last year.”

The summer and early autumn period is the busiest time for cat abandonments, which means RSPCA centres are full to capacity along with private boarding facilities and foster carers.

In 2006, the July, August and September period saw a total of 400 reported incidents involving 734 cats. In 2007, this rose to 453 incidents involving 915 cats.

Paul Williams, animal welfare manager, said: “We often pick up sick and elderly animals which may well have owners but they are reported to us as strays and we have a duty to take them in. They can then be re-homed with their owner having no idea what happened to them, simply because they have nothing to identify them.

“This places a huge burden on our animal centres and branches who take in more cats than they can find homes for. We are appealing to all owners to have their pet micro-chipped - it really could mean the difference between losing them forever or having them safely home.

Pets can be micro-chipped at the centre in Martlesham. It costs £10 per animal or £15 for two. They also have a free neutering service.

For more information, call them on 01473 623280 or visit www.ipswich-rspca.org

Why do you think there has been such a high rise in the numbers of cats abandoned? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk