Abandoned kittens need a home

THE owners of an animal sanctuary in North Somerset are desperately appealing for people to take on abandoned cats and dogs.

Holly Hedge in Barrow Gurney has been inundated with abandoned animals this year and staff believe this is partly due to people failing to neuter their cats due to the cost of the procedure.

Sanctuary founder Pauline Leeson said: “This year has been one of the worst so far, with stray, pregnant cats being brought to Holly Hedge from early March. Some have come in very underweight and needing veterinary treatment.

“We have received so many calls from the public reporting stray mums and kittens. We never turn away pregnant or nursing mums as they are so vulnerable.

“This year we have had to ask for foster homes to accommodate these poor little mites until Holly Hedge has had the space to take them in.”

Staff also say the charity has been hit by the recession, which has led to people abandoning their animals as they cannot afford to care for them.

Pauline added: “I think people are not getting their animals neutered because of the cost and more and more animals are being given up because people are being made redundant or getting evicted. It’s been particularly bad this year.”

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The charity is also seeing a rising number of animals needing medical treatment because people can no longer afford vet bills.

Pauline said: “Kittens who are not old enough to be weaned have been found dumped and half dead, some too far gone to be saved.

“Recently an emaciated little cat was brought in covered in maggots. She was taken straight to our vet who could do nothing for her as the maggots had eaten into her internal organs. She was put to sleep, and it was heartbreaking.

“More animals are being neglected with regard to veterinary treatment due to the cost.

“Most of our tales have happy endings, but there are those that are sometimes beyond help, and that is hard to come to terms with.”

Holly Hedge has a waiting list of over 100 animals needing help and is desperately appealing for loving homes for 95 cats and kittens and 35 dogs and puppies.

The charity is also in need of foster homes to help care for the animals before a permanent home can be found. All cats will be spayed before they go to their new homes.

Anyone interested in taking on a new pet or fostering on a temporary basis can contact Holly Hedge on 01275 474719 or email info@hollyhedge.org.uk