Leeds Cat Rescue reveal shocking number of abused cats in 2019
Leeds Cat Rescue has saved a record number of abused and abandoned cats this year, including a cat that was shot by an air rifle.
The charity rescued 225 cats from January to June this year, a 15% increase in the number of cats rescued from January to June 2018.
One black and white stray, which the charity named Tom, had been shot with a high velocity air rifle that shattered his leg.
The stray, now named Briony, had an infected tail and was found to be FIV positive, a toxic virus that resembles HIV in humans.
An abandoned ginger cat, named Goose, was found with a severe burst abscess to his face caused by fighting.
Rescue coordinator Vanessa Hill thinks the increase in abandoned cats is due to the mild winter and 'middle income' families in the north being squeezed.
She said: "We had to rescue kittens in January, that’s how early breeding started.
“If you look at the money going into animal rescue I think you’ll see there is a huge north/south divide.
“There are homes in Essex which can house hundreds and hundreds of cats and drive around looking for strays.
“We just don’t have anything like that here.”
Leeds Cat Rescue rehome rescue cats with 'foster' owners, but resources are stretched this year.
Vanessa added: "We don’t have the space to take in cats with homes if people are struggling to afford them, we have to focus on strays and abandoned cats.
"Twenty years ago you had to go down to a newsagents to find a cat. Now, we have Facebook where people are selling cats for nothing.
"It’s just getting out of hand.”