Ipswich cat shelter apply for new building to lodge animals
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
An Ipswich animal shelter is hoping to modernise by securing permission to replace its current setup with new, purpose-built buildings where they can house their cats.
Ipswich And District Animal Welfare Centre, on Cauldwell Hall Road, has been taking in cats from the area for decades after being established in 1925.
Chief executive officer Nick Chaplin says that the cats’ current lodgings are well overdue a makeover.
“Currently in our back garden, we’ve got two brick-build buildings with the cats inside. The brick buildings are probably from the 1970s, while the insides were probably done in the ‘80s,” he explained.
“The proposal is to demolish and replace them with purpose-built UVPC plastic ones, so much like a conservatory design.
“They'd be more energy efficient, easier to clean, healthier, and they’d keep heat inside. They'd be up to modern standards, and more pleasant for the cats, and for us to work in.
“At the time, the buildings were as good as you could get, but it’s time to change.”
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The new buildings would comprise 11 standard pens, one isolation pen and associated service space.
“We’ll be able to cope with more cats, as each pen will be quite a lot bigger inside,” Nick said.
“Currently, you can’t squeeze in more than one adult cat per pen. In a new one, if for example, they come in as a pair or a family, they will easily be able to stay together.”
In addition to caring for cats in need, the charity runs a clinic every week.
“It’s open to people on benefits to come in, with subsidised vet access. I know the RSPCA do the same thing. We're talking about working together more closely, because there are so many people struggling with vet fees,” Nick explained.
He says pet owners can get in touch, and bring their animals to the clinic for a £10 consultation.
“It’s not just cats, it’s for anything domestic. We’ve had cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, the occasional chicken, and once a parrot.”
Ipswich Borough Council will make their decision about the charity’s planning application in due course.