FOURTEEN CATS SURRENDERED TO RSPCA WA IN ‘OVERWHELMED CAREGIVER’ CASE
Fourteen cats were transported to the RSPCA WA Animal Care Centre at Malaga yesterday.
The cats were surrendered to RSPCA WA following a call from a concerned family member, who discovered the pets inside a relative’s suburban home located in the northern suburbs of Perth.
RSPCA Inspectors noted an additional ten to fifteen cats living outside the property, and will liaise with the local council to organise for their safe removal and care.
RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift commented: “We are grateful to the family member for doing the right thing and calling RSPCA WA. These types of cases are often very sensitive, and must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
“It seems to be a case of a well-intentioned, but overwhelmed caregiver, taking on more responsibility than they can handle. We do know that the resident is an elderly lady with some serious health concerns, and these may have affected her ability to recognise the severity of the situation,” she said.
“We can’t be sure how this lady acquired so many cats; whether in the absence of desexing, the animals have just continued to breed – or if people in the community are aware of this lady’s willingness to take stray cats in and are in fact taking animals to her, we just don’t know.”
The cats have been brought into the care of RSPCA WA and are receiving veterinary treatment for a range of health concerns.
The veterinarian team at RSPCA WA assessed and treated the cats on their admission to its Malaga shelter.
All the cats had fleas with some suffering from allergies, which has encouraged over-grooming and that has resulted in bald spots. Some of the cats are also being treated for superficial wounds.
Five of the cats have a moderate case of cat flu, showing symptoms such as runny noses and weepy eyes. Antibiotics and anti-viral treatments are being used to treat the disease, while another cat is also receiving anti-inflammatories to treat a more advanced stage of the virus.
None of the nine male or five female cats have been desexed, which suggests overbreeding and interbreeding could have played a role.
RSPCA WA CEO David van Ooran said, “Hoarding cases and large surrenders put a lot of pressure on RSPCA WA’s resources, due to the large intake of so many animals at one time.
“This is just one of the many challenges we face in our day-to-day operations,” he adds.
“We will now focus on rehabilitating the cats and assessing them, before transitioning them to our rehoming program.”
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Media contact: Ruth Gourley, Consultant RSPCA WA, 0437 069 853 or firstname.lastname@example.org