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Dumped Pet Shop Kittens Highlight Cruelty Epidemic

04 March 2015

UK - The founder of a cat charity has issued a neutering plea to pet owners to halt what she calls a growing ‘cruelty epidemic’.

Sara Atkinson from Yorkshire Cat Rescue has spoken out after the charity had to step in and save the second litter of abandoned kittens this year already.

When the kittens, Gladys, Elsie, Harold and Freda, were found in a small cardboard box outside Pets at Home in Keighley, they were brought straight to the rescue centre where it was obvious that they had not yet been weaned and should still be with their mother.

Janet Taylor from Keighley is a foster carer for Yorkshire Cat Rescue; she came to the kittens’ rescue. “It’s upsetting to see such young kittens that have been taken from their mother far, far too early in their lives. They clearly missed her - instinctively searching for her and nudging each other trying to find some milk,” says Janet.

She adds: “These kittens desperately need to feel safe and loved so that is now my job until they are old enough to leave. It’s tough but also hugely rewarding – knowing that you are making a difference to such tiny little lives.”

The kittens will be looking for a new home in about a month’s time after they have been weaned, neutered, vaccinated and wormed.

But it seems likely that more will follow in their paw prints, according to Sara Atkinson, founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue.

“It never ceases to amaze me how someone can bundle up a litter of kittens like that and just dump them without their mother at such a young age. This family were found in time but it is freezing cold outside and there is a real chance that they might have died or fallen ill.”

Sara adds: “I urge people who don’t want kittens to neuter their cats as soon as possible. Raising and finding homes for four, five or even more kittens isn’t as easy as it sounds – the market is literally flooded. When that becomes apparent, some people do the responsible thing and contact us for help. Then there are those who simply dump them and walk away. We can only hope that the person responsible for these kittens has now neutered the mother cat – but we have no way of knowing.”

Although this story will have a happy ending for Gladys, Elsie, Harold and Freda, the charity is gearing up for another busy year as spring arrives and, along with it, a booming kitten season.

Sara says: “Sadly, stories of dumped cats and kittens have become so common these days that I can only refer to it as a cruelty epidemic. Every year I hope that we will start to see things change for the better but so far, it is more and more of the same.”

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