Rise in number of abandoned cats is real catastrophe
FINANCIAL problems and summer holidays have been blamed for a spate of cats and kittens being abandoned across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
The Scottish SPCA has reported a rise in felines being abandoned by their owners, with the animals often found left in bags and boxes.
In the most recent case, two kittens were found at around 10.30pm last Wednesday, dumped inside a carrier on Little France Road close to the Royal Infirmary.
The man who found the kittens handed them into the security office at the hospital, which then contacted the Scottish SPCA for help.
Now named Ash and Willow, the male and female youngsters are being cared for at the Scottish SPCA’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.
Animal rescue officer Duncan Robertson said they were just the latest pets to be abandoned by their owners in recent months.
“Sadly, we’ve seen a high number of cats being abandoned in the Edinburgh and Lothians area and this appears to be on the increase,” he said. “Recently, a cat and her two kittens were dumped in Ormiston and earlier in July we also rescued two cats who were left outside a vet surgery in the city.”
Scottish SPCA chief inspector Paul Anderson said: “We’ve recently seen a spate of cats and kittens being dumped across Edinburgh and the Lothians. This could be down to financial difficulties, with people not being able to afford vet bills or the general costs required in caring for an animal.
“During the summer months, when many people are going away on holidays, it may be that owners are abandoning their cats rather than making adequate alternative arrangements for them while they are gone.
“Another issue is owners not getting their cats neutered, resulting in pregnant females having kittens that the owner doesn’t want to care for or find homes for themselves.
“This may be the reason we’re even seeing young kittens being dumped and handed into our centres as unwanted.”
In 2010, the Balerno centre cared for 244 cats, which increased to 393 the following year. It has cared for 194 cats up to the end of July this year.
In June 2011, the centre took in 41 cats and kittens – which rose to 57 in June this year.
Ash and Willow will remain in the Scottish SPCA’s care until new owners are found. Mr Robertson said: “Ash and Willow are lovely kittens, around four months old, in good condition.
“Their carrier is quite distinctive as it has the name ‘Tom’ written all over it, so we’re hoping this will help identify the person responsible.
“Ash and Willow are very playful and mischievous, so they appear to have been someone’s pets until very recently.”
Anyone with information about the abandonment should contact the charity’s animal helpline on 03000 999 999.
• Annie, found at Royal Highland Show: In June, a tiny kitten was found at the show after someone mistook her cries for a mobile phone ringtone. The four-week-old kitten was handed in to staff at the Scottish SPCA stand after being found on top of a pallet, crying for her mother.
• Andrea, abandoned at St Andrew Square Garden: An “affectionate” black and white cat was found in a plastic pet carrier in St Andrew Square Garden in June. The Scottish SPCA was called to rescue the cat after a member of the public spotted the cat carrier sitting on the ground in the gardens. The female cat was taken to the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.
• Ash and Willow, left near ERI: Two kittens were found dumped close to the Royal Infirmary inside a carrier on Little France Road at around 10.30pm last Wednesday.The man who found the kittens handed them into the hospital, which contacted the Scottish SPCA for help. Now named Ash and Willow, the male and female are being cared for at the Scottish SPCA’s centre in Balerno.
• Sandal, Flip and Flop, left in a box, Ormiston: Last month, a cat and her two kittens were “dumped like rubbish” in a cardboard box by Inglis Grain Driers Ltd in Ormiston, East Lothian. The adult female is now known as Sandal, and the two male kittens have been named Flip and Flop.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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