‘Look after my cats’ – Seaham owner dumps pets as cost of living crisis bites

The RSPCA fear two ginger cats found in County Durham were abandoned by a pet owner who couldn’t afford to keep them.

As the UK is beset by a cost of living crisis caused by rising inflation, soaring fuel bills and raised taxes, the charity says it is regularly getting calls from people asking for help to rehome their pets. The RSPCA is seeking information after the two female cats were left on the doorstep at a property in Enfield Road, Seaham in a pet carrier and were discovered by a member of the public when he returned during a house move.

Food had been left for the cats who were in a good condition, although neither of them were microchipped and while one was wearing a collar there were no identity tags. RSPCA Inspector Steph Baines collected the cats and they are now being cared for at the RSPCA’s Felledge Animal Center in Chester-le-Street, whose staff have named them Fern and Ivy.

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Steph believes the owner may have been struggling with their upkeep. She said: “It looks like someone has just said ‘look after my cats’.

“We are seeing a lot of these abandonments due to Covid as in the North East there is a lot of pressure on boarding space. We have people phoning asking for help and they have tried other charities to rehome cats but there are no spaces. Catteries and private boarding are full.”



One of the abandoned cats RSPCA staff have called Fern

Changes in household circumstances are often the cause of cats being abandoned and the RSPCA advises that owners should always seek help and advice before making a rash decision.

“Both Fern and Ivy were in good condition apart from some dental cleaning, so it looks as though given the current financial situation someone has felt they can’t look after these two ladies any more,” added Steph.

“I put a post up in the area and we would like to hear from anyone who may have seen how these cats were abandoned. If the owner doesn’t come forward in seven days they will go for rehoming. They appear to be middle-aged cats who are related and unusually for ginger cats they are female – the majority of ginger cats are male.”

If anyone has information about how Fern and Ivy were abandoned in Seaham on Sunday, April 3 then they are asked to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018. To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit its website or call its donation line on 0300 123 8181.

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