RSPCA in crisis with no room for healthy cats

ANIMAL lovers who rescue abandoned cats are being told to put them back where they find them by an overrun RSPCA in crisis

ANIMAL lovers who rescue abandoned cats are being told to put them back where they find them by an overrun RSPCA in crisis.A concerned resident has contacted the Weston & Somerset Mercury to say she was told to return a cat and litter of kittens to a back garden where they had been found.A head nurse at a respected Weston vets confirmed the RSPCA North Somerset Branch in Brent Knoll has told them, under certain circumstances, to do the same.But the animal chiefs at the Brent Knoll Animal Centre say they are in crisis and simply cannot cope with demand.RSPCA manager Nikki Tutton said the organisation advises cats to be returned to where they have been abandoned only if they are fit and healthy.The animal charity only refuses to take animals as a last resort if they have no room.The Weston resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "I realise the RSPCA relies on donations but surely they can house a cat with small kittens or help someone find a stray dog's owner."Emma Eagland, head nurse at Green Pastures Vet Centre in Moor Lane, Locking Castle, said: "In the last couple of weeks we have had an awful lot of stray animals. "We ring the RSPCA but they are so overrun we sometimes have to keep them for up to three weeks."We have had one cat in the last couple of weeks that RSPCA officers said they could not take. Because it was healthy, they told us to release it and put a paper collar on the cat with a contact number."Sometimes we have been forced to take them to the Brent Knoll centre and literally hand them over but they just do not seem to have enough room."Mrs Tutton said: "There are far too many animals who need help for us to keep up with and we are in an almost constant state of crisis."We are saying if there is a healthy stray animal leave it alone and keep an eye on it in case something happens. Unless people support us to build more accommodation we will run out of places. "We need to more than double the size of our centre from 44 to 100 pens."We do the absolute best we can but at some point that is not enough. People have to understand the animals do not belong to the RSPCA. "If people take a fit animal in, it is their responsibility and we will take it in when we can. There is not an answer apart from educating people. It is vital cat owners have their animals neutered."Anybody wishing to make a donation to the RSPCA or find out about neutering should call Nikki Tutton on 01278 792989.

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