Eastleigh MP sees plight of unwanted pets in Southampton area


Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton has urged more people to consider rehoming stray and abandoned animals, after a recent surge in abandoned kittens locally. The MP was on a visit to Southampton’s Blue Cross rehoming centre this week to see the plight of unwanted pets in the Hampshire area.

The visit on Bubb Lane included a tour of the centre’s facilities which rehomes 900 dogs, cats and small animals each year, as well as discussions with staff on prevalent local issues such as a high number of strays and currently a high intake of abandoned kittens.

Lara Alford, Blue Cross rehoming centre Manager said: “We’re currently caring for an unusually high number of kittens- 17 in total, with 19 on the waiting list- we’re seeing this trend across all our rehoming centres at Blue Cross and so we’re naturally appealing for more people to offer a home to our adorable kittens.  We’ve already rehomed 29 kittens so far this year.

"We also get a lot of stray dogs and puppies brought to the centre- so far this year we’ve already had 69.  We’re obviously always looking for people to provide wonderful new homes for these pets, and the more we rehome, the more we can take in.”

Among the many kittens that are currently waiting for homes is Livvy, a two month old domestic short hair kitten who was found alone and trapped behind a wall.  This adorable kitten is currently being cared for at the rehoming centre and waiting for a new home.

Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton praised Blue Cross for its work. The MP is the proud owner of Pippin the cat who he rehomed from the centre and has also owned rabbits Kipling and Skip from there in the past.  As well as being given a tour of the kennels and cattery, he was able to see how important it is to keep animals cool in the recent heatwave.

He said: "I'm really proud to have a Blue Cross centre locally. Blue Cross Southampton, and its staff and volunteers do a brilliant job, rehoming hundreds of stray and abandoned pets each year. The dedication they show is fantastic, and every animal is treated with real care and respect - Lara even remembers our family cat Pippin!

"Sadly Livvy the kitten's case is not uncommon. Already the centre has seen over 400 animals through its doors this year.

"Like Livvy, many have had very bumpy starts to their lives and some have never had the chance to be part of a loving home. I know from personal experience the joy you can get from rehoming a stray cat or dog.

"Rehoming an animal is a wonderful thing to do, but I'd urge anyone thinking about getting a pet to make sure you have the time, commitment and resources to properly care for your pet."

Blue Cross finds loving new homes for hundreds of homeless and unwanted pets every year, funded entirely by public donations. To find out more or make a donation, visit www.bluecross.org.uk.

The Blue Cross Southampton animal rehoming centre is based on a boarding kennel site formerly known as Goose Green, and has been there since 1991. Catteries were built thereafter, and the centre now serves communities across Hampshire, rehoming dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. In total, the centre has space for 40 dogs and 60 cats. In 2009 a new welfare veterinary clinic opened to treat the pets of owners on a low income who live in postcode areas SO18, SO19 and SO30. To contact the centre please call 0300 777 1530. The address is Blue Cross animal rehoming centre, Bubb Lane, West End, Southampton, Hants SO30 2HL. The centre is open daily between 11.00am and 4.00pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays from 11.00am until 2.00pm, closed on Thursdays.

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