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Can you help stop the unwanted kitten crisis

Kittens at Oak Tree

Oak Tree Animals’ Charity, Wetheral, is preparing for a further influx of 27 kittens next week and is getting calls every week about more unwanted litters desperately seeking new homes. The numbers of unwanted kittens in our region has been higher than ever this year and Oak Tree is asking people to consider neutering their cats to help prevent these huge numbers of unwanted, loving animals.

Caroline Johnson, General Manager at Oak Tree explains; “Every year we expect to see unwanted litters of kittens during the summer months but this year ‘kitten season’ has extended into Autumn and we are seeing record numbers of abandoned kittens during this period all desperately needing our support. Our Community Team have been out neutering feral cats and supporting community neutering programmes throughout the summer neutering over 100 cats to prevent unwanted kittens and we are asking private owners to help us by considering neutering their cats. An additional 50 kittens have been admitted into the centre already this summer looking for new homes. The unwanted kittens that get handed into Oak Tree are the lucky ones, they have the veterinary support, socialisation and care needed to help them find loving new homes. However, many are not so fortunate.”

Caroline continues; “The numbers of unwanted kittens this year seen at Oak Tree is unprecedented and staff and volunteers are working hard to make sure they all get the support they need. Each kitten needs the right veterinary care, nutrition and environment and this can cost over £200 per kitten. We are so grateful to our supporters and volunteers who donate time, kitten food and money to allow us to continue to help these beautiful, vulnerable little ones.”

Anne-Marie McGivern, Vet Nurse Supervisor at Oak Tree said: “Neutering really is the only way to prevent the number of unwanted and abandoned cats we see in Cumbria. It is a routine procedure with immense health benefits for cats and also owners, who will have cats who are not getting into fights, spraying, enduring unwanted pregnancies and, with a less risky lifestyle, neutered cats tend to live longer. Cats can become pregnant from four months of age, with an un-neutered female cat able to be responsible for up to 20,000 descendants in just 6 years. Therefore timely neutering really is key.”

For further information about rehoming kittens, cats or other animals from Oak Tree and to find out about the Charity’s work and how you can help please visit www.oaktreeanimals.org.uk or the Charity’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.

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