We are currently being tagged, notified and called out for what feels like every stray, injured and dead cat across the South East and it’s becoming impossible to identify which are the calls we should be responding to urgently in amongst the deluge and its becoming impossible to act as a rescue as we are so busy dealing with enquiries we are too busy to try and arrange home visits. You can actively help us by:
(i) SUSPECTED ANIMAL KILLER CALLS:
These will ALWAYS be a priority, no matter what time of day or night and we will always attend these if we are able (ie if we are not the other side of Birmingham when one comes in). You can help us by providing our numbers to people you see on social media posting about them 07961 030064/ 07957 830490. We have a new team protocol in place for the police to attend these but it’s new and we appreciate that not everyone feels comfortable doing this – you can also call 101 and a police person should then attend. The injuries and circumstances which we have seen include: Beheadings/ tails removed/ paws and head removed/ one back paw and tail/ evisceration/no blood at the scene. If what you have seen ticks any of these boxes, please call us as a priority, not two days later. Once the body has been removed, we have no way of knowing whether its linked and a valuable piece of evidence may be lost. So please call us.
(ii) SUSPICIOUS PEOPLE SIGHTINGS:
Call these into 101 straight away, with a full description of the person/persons, their clothing, the road/ location and what they are doing to arouse suspicion. Obtain a file reference number and message us with the details.
(iii) STRAY CATS:
If you think a cat is a stray– if the cat is uninjured, healthy and not spending 100% of his or her time with you: Keep the cat off social media. Actively door knock your neighbours and ask if the cats belongs to them or if they know where he or she lives; put a paper collar on the cat asking for the owner to contact you. Wait a few days and if no response then take the cat to a vet for a chip check. Only contact us once you have made enquiries – we will not just pick up or trap a healthy cat where proper enquiries have not been made. Remember that a large number of people are not on social media and if they are, may not belong to the same groups on facebook as you do. If you are unable to get the cat to a vet for a chip check, we will do our best to help but cannot respond instantly to demands to “come chip check this cat”, especially at silly o’clock at night.
(iv) SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS:
If you see a report on social media about a stray or injured cat, please have a look at the comments to see what progress is before raising it with us. We spend a large proportion of our day looking at posts where the cat had already been rescued, been reunited etc. We will do our best to come out to chip check but please see point (iii) above first.
(v) CATS NEEDING HOMES:
We are currently full and at the end of our resources (9 cats in sanctuary and 17 in rescue). We cannot take on any more, no matter how heartbroken we are about it. Rescue is making sure that we can take good care of the animals we have, not cram as many in as we can regardless of whether we can give them proper attention or afford it. We know that all rescues are pretty much full. We don’t have a magic rescue wand that will guarantee a place at a rescue if we make the call instead of you. You can help all of us by ensuring your cat/cats are neutered and calling around rescues yourself if you need to get a cat to a safe place.
(vi) LOST/MISSING CATS:
If your cat is lost, get posters up and flyers out within a mile radius of your home the moment you realize. Posters should contain a number of photos of your cat from several angles, details of where and when they were last seen and a contact number for you. Put their litter tray outside and if you don’t have one, an article of worn but not washed clothing. Knock on doors to find out if anyone is away. Go out regularly especially during the quiet hours to call the missing cat. If none of this works, send us a graphics file of your poster and we will put it on our page. Please do not ask us to put posters together for you, this needs to be your responsibility.
If we share a post on our page about a missing cat, please check back regularly to see if anyone has spotted him/her. We cannot be held responsible for missing a reply that says a person may have seen your cat.
(vii) INJURED CATS:
Please get the cat straight to a vet, especially if he or she has been hit by a vehicle. It will probably be quicker for you to get a lift to a vet if you don’t drive, than it will be for us to be called, rearrange what we are doing (especially if we are the other side of London at a scene) and then get to you.
(viii) RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents):
Because our local council is a bit rubbish at always chip checking cats who have been run over, we do tend to attend these calls. However, when we’ve worked all day and through the evening and it’s 2am, we are unlikely to be able to cover this. We do need to sleep so please don’t get upset with us if we don’t haul out at 2am. You can help by putting the poor babe’s body somewhere safe (once you are sure the animal has passed away), wrapped in a plastic bag, away from wildlife until the morning.
(ix) ANY OTHER SUSPICIOUS ANIMAL DEATHS:
We do tend to prioritise these also, as we keep an eye on what is going on in our neighbourhood; however we won’t always be available to come out to them. Where you think a crime has been committed, please bag the body up and call 101 (if pets) or your local wildlife crimes unit (if wildlife) to report it to them and let them know you have the body as evidence.
Boudicca and Tony