Charity releases ‘no judgement’ message and appeals for desperate pet owners to seek help after CCTV footage shows abandoned cat with no eyes.
National pet charity Blue Cross is urging struggling pet owners to reach out for help after a cat with no eyes was left in a taped-up box outside one of its animal hospitals.
The cat, who is not microchipped and believed to be around seven years old, was left in a cardboard box behind the charity’s animal hospital in Merton, London last week. Although left at the door in a box, CCTV shows how the blind cat then was able to escape and wander around before being found; something that could have led him into danger.
The charity, who provides low-cost veterinary services to those on benefits, and also has rehoming services, wants to get the message out that they will not judge those struggling with a pet and appeals for those feeling in crisis to pick up the phone for help.
With a rocketing spike of new people applying for Universal Credit and who therefore may become eligible for Blue Cross vet services, the charity has rapidly implemented remote phone and email support consultations and is still seeing essential and emergency cases at its London and Grimsby Hospitals.
Following assessment by vets, the cat, who would have been born with no eyes, has been named Larry by the team is doing incredibly well in the charity’s care and is a friendly and sociable boy. He is now in a foster home until the charity can find him a new home once the Government lockdown has been lifted.
Amanda Rumball, the London Animal Welfare Officer, said: “It is distressing that at this time desperate pet owners may feel they have no other option but to leave a pet at the doors of a charity or vets. We would urge people not to do this and to pick up the phone or email for help. We will never judge and look to do everything in our power to help a pet in crisis, be that through remote support or through our vet or rehoming services. We will always be following government guidelines to never put people or pets at risk but have protocols in place to help.”
David Catlow, Clinical Director at Blue Cross said: “We understand the huge financial pressure people are under currently which is why we are rapidly adapting our services to help those in need. We recognise that people may feel they are doing the best thing by leaving an animal at the doors of a charity, but abandoning pets can put them in serious danger so we implore people to recognise that at this time Blue Cross vets are still there to help those in need. We can help, just please speak with us.”
“This is a challenging time and if we can help keeps pets and people together and support them we will. We understand just how important pets are to our mental health and what companionship and support they can give when we face hardship and struggles.”
Blue Cross has rehoming centres across the country and the veterinary services exist to help those on eligible benefits and provide low cost and sometimes free treatment. With extreme pressure on the working teams and on charity finances during the COVID-19 pandemic it becomes ever more important for people to reach out initially for help so a sensible and safe plan can be put in place for people and pets.
Under the Animal Welfare Act pet owners have a duty of care to their animals and should get in touch with Blue Cross or another pet welfare organisation if they need urgent help and support rather than putting any pet in danger or left alone to fend for themselves.
For further help people can visit bluecross.org.uk/coronavirus.
For those needing behavioural support and advice for pets, can call 0300 790 9903 (option 4)
Blue Cross has launched an emergency appeal to help the national charity continue to provide care for the hundreds of animals that remain in its care and those being treated at its animal hospitals over the coming months. To donate visit – www.bluecross.org.uk/donate