Number of cats being abandoned in Plymouth 'highest for 30 years'
AN ANIMAL-WORKER who has been rescuing pets for more than 30 years says more cats are being abandoned than ever.
Helen Lecointe, whose mother Carole Bowles founded Woodside Animal Welfare in Plympton, said she believed 40 per cent more creatures were being handed into them this year than ever before.
This comes as The Herald reported on Monday that Gables Dogs' and Cats' Home was encouraging owners to neuter their cats because they had so many abandoned felines.
Helen said Woodside was also close to being at bursting capacity with around 80 kittens plus 60 fully-grown cats and one pregnant mother about to have a litter.
"It's the worst year ever since I can remember. It feels like we're back to square one, trying to encourage people to neuter their cats," she said.
But she said there was a ray of hope as a kind-hearted woman, who sadly died eight weeks ago, had left a legacy with the shelter, to be specifically used for spaying cats.
"Phyllis Stacey was passionate about stray cats and had supported the charity for many years. It was a cause very close to her heart," she said.
"We want to encourage anyone who needs help neutering stray cats they find to get in touch."
She said many "kind-hearted" members of the public supported abandoned cats by feeding them and this fund could be used to help them by providing a low-cost neutering service.
She said the charity generally didn't encourage the public to feed cats as many could be cats seeking second homes. Many cats, though, she said were genuine cases and were in bad states, giving birth under sheds.
"One of the main issues is baby cats themselves giving birth to more babies. We could fill the sanctuary 10 times over with cats but we have to stop it at the source. Cats are such good breeders."
"We want to hear from anyone who might benefit from our lower-cost neutering scheme."
Call 347503 for details on this scheme.