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Charity warns of surge in abandoned cats in London


Charity warns of surge in abandoned cats in London


charity has seen a surge in abandoned cats amid the cost of living crisis.

The Celia Hammond Animal Trust said that as many as 20 to 30 cats were currently being left outside of its Canning Town branch daily.

She said people were struggling to feed their cats due to financial pressures.

The charity also claimed a shortage of vets due to Brexit meant people are struggling to get their animals neutered.

The founder of the charity, Celia Hammond, said she is anxious about how “a lot of animals are not being treated. No vets are taking patients and things are looking as bad as they were in 1995.”

During the 1990s, she was active in helping to control the feral cat population by running neutering clinics. From then, the situation in England improved, but things have since worsened again, she said.

Another cat at the shelter

/ Celia Hammond Animal Trust

She said that people are bringing in cats saying “I can’t afford to feed them any more’”.

Among cats abandoned was Chips, who was found outside the branch. When he was found, employees thought he was covered in dirt, but upon closer inspection noticed that he had been sitting in his own urine and that he was covered in grease.

The black and white cat is being nursed back to health by the charity.

Celia Hammond Animal Trust

The charity said often people feel embarrassed about leaving pets such as Chips outside and so do not enter the building, and other owners move country or are simply overwhelmed by the responsibilities of taking care of their pets.

Ms Hammond said: “You can control a dog, but you can’t control a cat (or its whereabouts), especially since cats are breeding all the time. But we are unable to help people in this situation, which is heartbreaking for me.”

“This charity is my life, and it has been my life to work and rescue animals. I hope that people support us. We need people to adopt animals if they can afford to,” she added.

The British Veterinary Association has been contacted for comment.

Data it released in 2022 showed the number of EU vets registering with them who had come to work in the UK fell by 68 per cent from 1132 in 2019 to just 364 in 2021.

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