An animal charity is struggling to cope with a “cat crisis” as owners are literally dumping pets outside their door in the middle of the night.
Staff at the RSPCA centre in Blackpool have noticed a sharp rise in the number of calls about unwanted felines this year.
The centre, on Division Lane, has no room to take any more cats but gets daily calls from people asking to re-home the animals.
Centre manager Rachel Rodgers said: “Recently we have found we are getting more and more cats dumped at the gates in the middle of the night.”
In one horrifying case, she said, two kittens were found after being left in a skip.
She added: “A couple of weeks ago a mum and six kittens were put in a box and left at the gate.
“I have been out walking my dog and tripped over cats that been left in boxes overnight.”
Although cats are not the only animals left outside the centre, there has been a marked increase in calls to re-home them lately.
She said many owners become desperate after discovering their pet has fallen pregnant.
But the charity can provide support to help cover the cost of neutering the animals to prevent owners getting a potentially costly surprise.
“Cats get pregnant very easily,” she said.
The RSPCA centre in Blackpool relies on support from the local community. As well as food donations, the centre needs fosterers to look after pets until there is space at the centre. Centre manager Rachel Rodgers said: “We are only licensed to look after 28 cats at any one time – we could take in that many on a daily basis.”
For information about the service, call the centre on 01253 763991.