Cat explosion stretching LSPCA volunteers to the absolute limit

Dorothy Duguid of the LSPCA and JoePhelan from Laois Shopping Centre with Bob the rescue dog, helping to launch the LSPCA's Pet Food Appeal which takes place outside Tesco this Saturday. Donations of pet food are urgently needed by the charity.
The Laois Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LSPCA) is in danger of losing some of it valued volunteers because of pressure from the public over stray and feral cats.

The Laois Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LSPCA) is in danger of losing some of it valued volunteers because of pressure from the public over stray and feral cats.

We have asked the public many times to notify us when they begin to feed strays found in their garden.

We will assist in the trapping and pay for the neutering of feral cats (not domestic cats) providing the “owner” will take them back and feed them.

This works well and last year we paid for over 200 cats to be treated in this way and they are now allowed to live the natural life of a feral cat.

Unfortunately the request to notify us is often ignored until two have grown to 10 or 12 and we are asked, or sometimes demanded, to take them all away.

This is a problem of the public’s own making and we do not have homes for feral cats but neither do we take them to be euthanased when they are healthy .

By feeding these cats people have taken on responsibility for them and therefore they must take responsibility for having them humanely put to sleep if unwanted.

We are also asked to take people’s own animals they can no longer keep or kittens they do not want. We take as many as we can into foster homes but must give priority to abandoned kittens or sick animals.

We receive an average of four phone calls per day from people wanting us to take in anything from 1 to 15 cats, but if we are lucky 2 calls a week from people offering a home to a cat or kitten.

It is easy to see from this that the situation has become impossible to deal with.

We do receive Government funding which last year was €10,000, which we are very grateful.

However our expenditure for the year was over €80,000, the balance of which we have to raise ourselves as well as looking after all the animals. We are therefore looking for the public’s support not only for funding but to be responsible and tell us of a pending cat population explosion before it happens – not afterwards.

We have about 20 volunteers, we do our best and get no pleasure from telling the public we cannot help, our volunteers are not able to take the pressure you are putting us under and without volunteers there is no Laois SPCA.

National Feral Cat Awareness Week, August 10 to 17.