At least 16 cats were abandoned in Sunderland last month, and sanctuary fears more will be dumped after Christmas

Pawz for Thought, an animal welfare society in Sunderland has taken in 16 cats that were abandoned in November and are now looking to rehome them.

Sunday, 8th December 2019, 4:33 pm

This November, 16 cats were dumped in various locations around Sunderland including a cemetery and at the side of the road, on the A1.

The sanctuary saw a major increase last month of the number of cats that had been abandoned.

Karen Britt, a volunteer at the sanctuary for seven and a half years said: “People think I’ll get a cat for a few years and then they’ll just get rid of it when they don’t want it anymore.”

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Two of the 16 cats abandoned over November now being housed at Pawz For Thought.
Two of the 16 cats abandoned over November now being housed at Pawz For Thought.

With Christmas coming up, the sanctuary has had a few inquiries from people wanting to get cats as presents for family members or friends. Karen, has turned these people away but has been met with some harsh responses.

Karen has emphasised that pets are a long term commitment and not a Christmas present that can be returned if it doesn’t live up to someone’s standards.

She added: “I’ve had people message me and giving me lists of everything they want. They say ‘I want a cat that’s friendly, that doesn’t scratch the furniture, that’s playful’.

“They want this and that and and before the cat even has a chance to settle into a new home they get sent back because they don’t sit with them, or they’re not playful enough.”

Pawz for Thought encourage anyone who wants a pet to think of the long term commitment they're making, before deciding to adopt.

For some cats, their unknown background makes them hard to rehome, meaning they can be at the sanctuary for years, Karen said: “It’s hard for people to get a real feel of what the cats are like in this environment and some cats end up here for years because they’re not what people are looking for, when all they really need is a chance.”

Long term resident Marley was recently adopted by a couple, and Paws for Thought have reported a positive change in Marley’s character since his rehoming.

You can find out more about Pawz for Thought on their Facebook page.

This cat was found near a local Church in Sunderland City Centre which is why he's called Churchill.
Pawz for Thought have a number of black cats - sadly, it's reported many people don't want black cats because they're boring. However, Karen Britt has mentioned that all the black cats at the service are very friendly.
Marley settled into his new home. Picture: Pawz for Thought.