Abandoned INBRED cats due to Covid and cost-of-living crisis
NEWS AND OPINION: This story tells us how market forces due to the Covid pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis has shaped what goes on in animal rescue and before that in animal breeding and purchase. Adopting kittens and puppies should never be impacted by market forces.
The story about this form of animal abuse comes from the St Francis Animal Welfare Re-homing shelter in the UK. It is located at Sunnyside Cottage, Mortimer's Lane, Fair Oak, Eastleigh in Hampshire. I know this is a well-reported issue, but it needs to be stressed. Covid has highlighted a poor attitude by many UK citizens to pet ownership.
|Boxes of cats and kittens dumped outside the shelter. Image: the shelter.|
They say that in the summer of 2022 seven "very neglected and inbred" cats arrived from a kitten mill breeder. These cats had numerous health issues according to the rescue. And cats and kittens have been dumped anonymously outside the shelter as you can see in the photograph supplied by the shelter.
Boxes of cats were found outside the shelter. Three of the cats passed away. Two were kept by the shelter but they had severe heart murmurs.
Surge in demand during Covid leading to kitten mills
The information here then is that during Covid-19 there was a surge in demand for kittens and puppies because people were stuck at home on furlough doing nothing.
This surge in demand resulted in a surge in backstreet breeders in the UK producing kittens or the importation from Eastern Europe of puppies from puppy mills. And now, post-Covid, we have the cost-of-living crisis due to high inflation which in turn is mainly due to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
Surge in abandonment of kittens and puppies post-Covid and due to high inflation
The cost-of-living crisis has resulted in people giving up their cats and dogs because they can't afford to keep them.
And so, there is a surge in abandoned cats and dogs some of whom find their way to the St Francis Animal Welfare shelter. And they, as you can see, report on inbred kittens which clearly indicates very poor breeding practices with mothers mating with offspring for example and this happening numerous times in uncontrolled breeding or forced breeding with no concern for health.
The manager at the shelter, Helen Shaw, said that they've seen "some of the worst cases of inbreeding". And they've got 40 cats waiting to come into the rescue which is four times the normal number.
Helen rightly says that the Covid-19 pandemic is a major factor in the breeding of the kittens. And the abandonment of kittens and cats is due to the cost-of-living crisis.
Both the adoption and the abandonment are due to impulsive purchasing and impulsive throwing away of sentient creatures due to market forces created by these big events.
Bad breeders and equally bad customers
The point of this discussion is that people should not be driven by market forces when adopting cats. They should not make impulsive decisions about the adoption of a cat or dog. This is a considered decision to adopt a companion animal for the life of a companion animal. There are no other considerations. This should not be an impulsive, self-indulgent decision.
It is a long-term decision and financial provision should be made. People need to research the cost and ensure that they have the money and will do going forward. If not don't adopt.
Rescues pick up the pieces
As usual, it is the rescue centres dotted around the country which pick up the pieces. They are the ones cleaning up the mess caused by the problems created by ill informed, ill-educated frankly silly people who just think they can adopt an animal like they can buy a new television.
It is no wonder that we have animal welfare issues in this country and other countries. The attitude towards sentient creatures is simply not good enough.
My thanks to the Southern Daily Echo.