THE region’s largest animal shelter has reached crisis point with the number of cats it has waiting to be adopted.
The Stubbington Ark has 140 cats on its books – the highest number it has ever had – and its resources are being stretched to the limit.
Head of cattery Marianne Thompson said: ‘It’s got worse. It’s a struggle and we need help. We need people to understand it’s kinder to get their cats neutered and we need people who can afford to give good homes to come and see us.
‘People are not coming in to adopt cats at the moment as they struggle to pay their household bills and high veterinary costs.
‘The cat situation on the whole is bad at the moment.
‘More cats are being thrown out on to the street because their owners can’t afford them.
‘Cats aren’t being neutered so we are also getting more numbers of unwanted kittens.
‘We are also seeing a lot of stray cats without a microchip so they cannot be reunited with their owner.
‘Diseases can be spread and so it goes on – it’s a vicious circle.’
Vanessa Eden, head of fundraising at the shelter in Ranvilles Lane, Stubbington said: ‘A lot of people think that having a kitten is really sweet but in reality it is like looking after a naughty child.
‘When people get fed up with the kitten it gets dumped.
‘Nowadays, there is no excuse for people not to get their cats neutered – there are schemes available in the district for people who are on benefits to get their cats neutered or spayed at reduced rates.’
The Ark is open for people to look at the animals every day from 10am to 3.30pm.
The shelter microchips pets for £12.
For more information go to stubbingtonark.org.uk or call (01329) 667541.