Whitchurch charity's plea for help as cost crisis forces it to stop taking in cats
A cat rescue group says it has been forced to temporarily stop bringing in more animals due to rising costs.
Cat Assistant Team Whitchurch, which launched during the pandemic, says it has been left with no choice but to stop taking in sick, injured and abandoned cats, despite a high demand for its services.
Jodie Meredith, from CATW, said: "We have already got so many sick cats and kittens in our care that we just can't afford to take any new ones in.
"It is heartbreaking because they have been coming in thick and fast and some are so unbelievably poorly.
"We have had kittens who have been dumped with their mother and she was so chronically sun burnt, we have had to pay to have her ears removed.
"The expense of looking after them is so high. We had a bill this week for £1,500 for treatment given to a kitten, which we found on the side of the road.
"We were battling to try and save her but she tragically passed away in intensive care. So even the ones we don't save, we have massive amounts to spend out on."
Jodie said the pandemic had been the catalyst for problems but the cost-of-living crisis had now doubled the impact.
"One of the issues with the pandemic was that some people took on cats," she said,
"They would have been the cute, sweet kittens which people took in during lockdown but have now been dumped so demand for us has increased.
"But then we have been hit by other costs too, such as energy bills and more.
"The problem is, a lot of people are impacted, so we have supporters of ours, who have been hit by the cost crisis.
"They have their own fears over mortgage payments so we have had to cancel direct debits.
"People are so upset but they have had no choice as their payments have gone up.
"There's a massive knock on effect and our fundraising has slowed right down too.
"We have a Halloween hamper, at the moment, which we have been trying to raffle off.
"Even that is really slow going. A £1 to everyone at the moment is worth £10.
"It's heartbreaking and just so hard at the moment. We are getting bigger and bigger but can't take anymore because we just don't have the funding."
Nicola Vincent has set up a GoFundMe page on the charity's behalf and said: "It is something very close to my heart.
"Cat Assist Team Whitchurch is a local charity completely funded by donations but currently, their funding is very low.
"They are concerned about how they will survive the next six months with the increase in energy cost. They have pens that need heating and lighting, and as the cold months draw in, this is a big concern."
Jodie added: "We would be so grateful for any help. We have drop off points at Tesco in Whitchurch, Gallery Flowers and Colour Supplies for food and local businesses can sponsor a cat. Any support would be appreciated."