South Tyneside charity says it is having a cat crisis

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The founder of a South Tyneside animal charity says she fears a “kitten boom” because people are failing to get their pets neutered.

Ann Kirton runs St Francis Animal Shelter which takes in and rehomes abandoned and unwanted cats and kittens.

Ann Kirton of St Francis Animal Rescue.

Ann Kirton of St Francis Animal Rescue.

She says the number of animals she is taking in, is now brnging the charity to breaking point.

With kitten season just around the corner, she says she has no idea how the charity will cope.

Ms Korton is calling on cat owners to ensure their pets are neutered and if anyone is looking for a new cat or kitten to consider a rescue pet rather than heading to the internet and buying from breeders.

She said: “The situation is terrible, it’s really terrible. We are being inundated with strays.

We are being inundated with strays the situation is terrible.

Ann Kirton

“I have a scheme where people can come and have their cats neutered for £20 but people aren’t even taking up the offer.

“People seem to be dumping kittens left, right and centre. It’s only been a few weeks since we found three kittens, only six weeks old, in an abandoned property.

“The situation really isn’t getting any better as people are buying them off the internet, not coping and then dumping them on the street.”

She added: “There is no one to blame but people for the position we’re in - it’s ridiculous.

“It’s like I’m banging my head against a brick wall.”

Cats can fall pregnant from as young as four months and with the weather getting warmer, female cats, whose heat cycles are triggered by daylight house, come into season.

Ann added: “Anyone who has a cat, who is on low income or any kind of support is eligible for help with the cost of neutering and I would ask that they do get in touch.

“All our cats and kittens are microchipped and neutered before they are re-homed.

“All I can say is please, before you buy from the internet come and see us and consider rehoming a rescue cat or kitten.”

For information and to find out which cats and kittens are up for adoption visit


Can you give a loving home to little eleven-week-old Erin.

The kitten is being cared for by St Francis Animal Rescue and is one of a litter of four.

She is a typical kitten, cheeky and full of mischief.

Erin loves to play, run around chasing her toys and enjoys being cuddled and stroked.

Ann Kirton said: “Erin would suit most homes and could be an indoor or outdoor cat when she’s older. As with all kittens, she can’t be left alone for long periods whilst she is very young.

Erin can either go along or with a brother or sister as a pair.”

If you would like to see more kitten for re-homing visit or call 456 9613 or 07528 245088.