Cat rescue 'desperate' for new fosterers to help 'crisis' of abandoned animals
A volunteer-run cat rescue in north Shropshire is appealing for fosterers to help stem the "crisis" of abandoned cats and kittens.
Only three years after being founded, Cat Assist Team Whitchurch (CATW) says its organisation is overwhelmed by the number of cats in need of homes.
The non-profit organisation is run by a small team of volunteers, dedicated to fostering, caring for and finding new homes for stray and abandoned cats.
As well as helping find the animals temporary or permanent homes, the team provides lifelong care for seriously ill cats, neuters strays, and helps to track the owners of dead cats found at the roadside.
But the team say that the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis have had a massive impact on rescue centres around the country - and theirs hasn't been spared the turmoil.
Volunteer Carla Purcell said: "Every year we say it's been the worst year yet, but it just gets progressively worse. The worst thing is saying no, and we have to do that more often at the moment than ever before."
The team currently have 54 cats under their care, including sanctuary cats with lifelong medical problems. Their waiting list has over 30 cats and kittens that they say they just don't have the room for.
Carla said: "The cost of living crisis means we're not getting as many adoptions, and many people who adopted animals over lockdown haven't had them neutered. Two cats can become 30 in a matter of months.
"It's a crisis for us and most rescues at the moment."
Without a permanent rescue site, the cats under the care of the organisation are all in foster homes. CATW provide all their food and litter and cover all the vet bills - which at the moment cost the organisation around three and four thousand pounds each month respectively.
While the team hope to on -day purchase land and have a permanent site, they say they are currently "desperate" for fosterers to take in cats and kittens in need.
The organisation runs entirely on donations, with food and litter donation drop-off points located in Whitchurch's Tesco and Gallery Flowers.
"We're especially desperate of Whiskas kitten food at the moment and always desperate for litter," Carla added.
The organisation is running a Christmas market on Saturday, December 9 at the Whitchurch Civic Centre to help boost funds. The market will run from 12.30pm to 5.30pm with a host of stallholders.
Those able to volunteer their time or homes are asked to reach out to the organisation on Facebook @catassistteamwhitchurch or through their website at catw.co.uk.