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Cat rescue centre's SOS

PUBLISHED: 09:08 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:39 07 September 2010

Gillian Rich

Gillian Rich

An animal rescue centre supported by residents including the likes of Hampstead comedian Ricky Gervais has closed its cattery due to so many abandoned cats this Christmas. The charity is desperately looking for homes after 35 more cats tha

Philippa Burton

An animal rescue centre supported by residents including the likes of Hampstead comedian Ricky Gervais has closed its cattery due to so many abandoned cats this Christmas.

The charity is desperately looking for homes after 35 more cats than usual were dumped at The Mayhew Animal Home in Kensal Green.

Manager Gillian Rich said: "It is crisis time here - our cattery and kennels are over capacity.

"Pet owners seem to be reacting in a panic to the approach

to Christmas and are dumping their cats and dogs left, right and centre."

There has been an increase in people discarding their animals since the recession began, said deputy manager Caroline Brown.

In October, a record number of 47 abandoned cats arrived at the sanctuary.

"Recently, somebody left a cardboard box full of kittens outside the centre," said Ms Brown.

"Unfortunately, they did not survive because it was so cold.

"We just want people who think they have a good home for a cat to contact us and speak to our adoption staff.

"But the cats which are here on Christmas Day will be spoilt rotten by our cattery staff and no doubt will enjoy some turkey and festive titbits."

The Mayhew is one of London's biggest animal sanctuaries and was established in 1886. Hampstead resident Angela Humphery is among the sanctuary's supporters.

She said: "I love all furry and feathery creatures but sadly there are too many animals and not enough good homes."

The Mayhew impressively manages to rehome most of their animals.

One person who came forward recently took in one of their many elderly cats - an 18-year-old diabetic which had to have daily insulin injections.

It was an act of kindness that particularly impressed Ms Brown.

For more information on supporting or adopting an animal, log on to www.mayhewanimal home.org.


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