Cuts in cat charity has impact on cat welfare
One of the largest animal charities in Britain has been accused of putting their profits before the welfare of their animals after making huge cuts to services offered after a record income for the previous year.
Cats Protection receives over £62 million pounds a year in donations alone however they are now being accusing of wanting to profit from this money more than looking after animals as they decrease the spending on frontline services by over £3 million pounds.
After a Mail on Sunday investigation, there have been claims that the cuts made include closing seven of their popular centres because they were simply helping too many cats and putting pressure on the company. There are also claims of reining back on the usual neutering programme which is crucial as it helps prevent approximately 17,000 stray cats and help rescued animals get the help they need.
Whilst Cats Protection gain over £62 million pounds a year then charity increased their staff wage bill to over £12 million pounds a year which includes over £100,000 on wages for their chief executive whilst they currently have over 8,500 unpaid volunteer workers which gives the public reason to think if they needed to make cuts, surely staff wages should have been the first thing to look at, not the welfare of the animals.
Former volunteers are outraged at the news and have come forward to reveal what happens within the charity. They revealed that vaccine payments have been reduced so several cats are now going without necessary vaccines meaning they would not be immunised again bacterial infections. This is saving just £2 per cat however it also is putting the cat at risk of illness.
Charity workers usually follow up re homed cats with a home visit however these are now only for exceptional circumstances saving the company more money but potentially putting cats in danger. It has been claimed that Cat Protection has been known to put down sick cats rather than paying vet fees.
Cats Protection, has over 250 branches, and stronger stands by the statement that its ‘vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs’, with neutering and rehoming its two main objectives however these are the two things that are claimed to have been severely affected by the cuts.
One of the areas to be hardest hit is the neutering of cats – Mary Millar told how administrators decreased her funding and eventually shut them down. She said her branch had requested £9,000 for neutering in 2013, based on the number of cats brought in the previous year, but had been given only £1,600.She said: ‘It’s appalling the way they treat the volunteers by cutting back, irrespective of the effects on the animals.’ She also revealed the cuts to the vaccination programme, saying: ‘In February 2013, they recommended we use cheaper vaccines and give the cats an injection which didn’t cover them against all the diseases, such as respiratory infection. I couldn’t believe they would be willing to put the cats’ health at risk for a small saving.’
But a spokesman from Cats Protection was adamant that ‘all cats in our care must receive a minimum veterinary standard of care, with most receiving more’. Cats Protection deny the claim and say they ‘never put a healthy cat to sleep’ and put down sick cats only on vets’ advice. Cats Protection chief executive Peter Hepburn added: ‘In an organisation as large as ours, there are bound to be one or two who are unhappy with things.’