Unwanted cats desperately need a home

David BaleA desperate appeal has been issued for pet lovers to take home unwanted cats that are filling up the cattery at the RSPCA centre in Norwich.David Bale

A desperate appeal has been issued for pet lovers to take home unwanted cats that are filling up the cattery at the RSPCA centre in Norwich.

Among the kittens looking for new homes is Raphael, a big soppy boy with David Bowie-esque different coloured eyes, who was callously shot with an airgun before he arrived and had a pellet lodged in his lower jaw which has now been removed.

Other pets looking for new homes include Pepper, who arrived at the centre in Barrack Street as a stray after getting her foreleg trapped in her collar which caused a nasty wound, and Tia, who is a beautiful, part-Siamese Tortoiseshell whose owner died suddenly.

Julie Bond, branch manager at the RSPCA in Barrack Street, said: "At present, we have a chock-a-block full cattery and not one of the cats has yet found an owner.

"We have some lovely, friendly, healthy young animals just sitting waiting for someone to adopt them, but we have noticed a marked decline in people coming to the centre or expressing an interest in them."

She said they needed to get the animals rehomed as soon as possible so they could take on any other desperate cases that came along. "Until we rehome some of these animals, we cannot take any more in and there is an endless stream of abused, neglected and abandoned animals that desperately need our care," she said. "Our priority is to take in those animals in most need that are brought to us by the RSPCA inspectors or strays that have received emergency treatment from local vets.

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"Consequently, many of our animals require costly veterinary treatment and a lot of time and care in our cattery or at our fosterers while they recover and are fit to be rehomed.

"As it is also the time of year when there are a lot of kittens born, our resources are further stretched as we have to care for abandoned youngsters that need hand-rearing or looking after until they are old enough to be vaccinated and rehomed."

All of the animals are fully vaccinated, neutered, treated for worms and fleas, and have been seen by the RSPCA vet.

The appeal comes a week after the Evening News told of a rise of abandoned dogs in Norwich.

� To find out more about rehoming a cat or dog, visit the website at www.rspcanorwich.org.uk, or phone 01603 766001 between 11am and 4pm (closed on Monday). You can also visit the centre at 71-75 Barrack Street, Norwich NR3 1WJ, between these hours.

� Have you got an animal-related story? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk