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Abandoned kitten problems for West Sussex animal charities

ANIMAL charities have expressed dismay after five incidents of abandoned kittens in two weeks – with one kitten being thrown in a recycling bin and two cats found in black sacks.

After the Herald reported how a kitten was found cold and frightened in a cardboard box outside PAWS animal sanctuary in Findon, it came to light there had been four further cases in the area.

Two cats, each in black bags, were discovered tied to a gatepost in Shoreham, by a women putting away her horse, late on August 11.

Next to the sacks was a cardboard box, containing the cats' four kittens.

The cats were wrapped in blankets, so they were unable to scratch their way out of the sacks.

One of the cats was pregnant and later gave birth to another six kittens.

Kitten in bin

In another incident, on August 12, a kitten, thought to have been left for several days, was found by refuse collectors in a recycling bin.

The kitten, which was dehydrated and had a stomach illness, was taken in by staff at the PAWS Animal Sanctuary, in The Oval, Findon, and named Skippy.

Skippy was adopted on August 13 by Lisa Booth, 29, of Decoy Drive, Angmering.

Lisa said: "We had been looking for a new pet for ages. We had been to the PAWS sanctuary before and, when we saw him, we thought he was really cute."

The kitten has been renamed Guinness.

Lisa added: "You would have thought he'd be really timid, but he's been up to all sorts of mischief."

Abandoned in box

A woman walking past a railway bridge in Worthing on Wednesday, August 18, heard cries coming from a cardboard box, inside which two "trembling" little kittens were found.

She took the animals home and telephoned PAWS.

Stacey McSpirit, from PAWS, expressed her sadness at the cases, but said; "This is a normal occurrence to us, not just cats and dogs. We have had everything."

Stacey said the sanctuary received a cat almost every day.

She said some people struggling to look after their pets often gave up ringing animal charity call centres when their calls were not answered straight away.

She added: "Dumping an animal in the street is a cheap alternative to having it put to sleep. Some people just can't be bothered; they just don't care."

Micro-chipping

The PAWS sanctuary is urging cat and dog owners to have their pets micro-chipped when they have injections as babies.

In another incident, security guards arriving to work at Glaxo SmithKline, in Southdownview Way, Worthing, at 7am on Thursday, August 26, found a soaked cardboard box containing a cat and three small kittens aged five to six weeks.

The cat ran away, while the three kittens were taken to Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service (WADARS) in West Buildings, Worthing.

Staff from WADARS left cat food at the site in a bid to entice the cat back. It has now been reunited with the kittens.

Irresponsible actions

Animal rescue officer Billy Elliot described the dumping of animals as "totally irresponsible".

He said: "I just feel it's a shame. There are several cat charities in the area which the public can turn to if they are struggling to keep or look after their pets.

"We are here to help; it's our responsibility and our job."

Billy added: "By dumping animals, they are putting their lives at risks, especially in the rain. Kittens are more at risk from predators like foxes or someone's dog."

Billy said it was common for animals to be abandoned. He said between October and April, when animals were born, there were not many animals around and demand soared. But, in the summer, there was a surplus, so many were dumped.

Anyone interested in giving an animal a home can contact WADARS on 01903 217788 or PAWS on 01903 872734.

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