03:05AM, Thursday 05 September 2013
A cat charity branch is fighting for survival after a 95 per cent drop in donations and loss of 10 volunteers.
It was threatened with closure at the end of last year by the National Cat Centre, which oversees its work, after one of the branch’s fosterers was found to have more than the permitted number of cats in their home.
Since then, the branch has been restructured – with Karen Lewis taking over from her father Peter Simmonds as branch coordinator – but the charity cannot accept cats until it can prove it can support itself financially. A financial review will not take place until the new year.
Donations have dropped by about 95 per cent because of harsh economic times, cuts in central funding and because, with no new cats to house, the branch has been unable to drum up support through publicising its rescue work.
Volunteer numbers have also dropped from 25 a year ago to 15, who continue with neutering support and working with feral cats.
The crisis comes at a time when the branch, which has rehomed thousands of cats over the last 15 years, is facing its highest rescue demand for years as people struggle with the cost of keeping a pet.
“It not that we don't want to do something. We are just as committed,” said Karen.
“We are still going but charities have to evolve.”
Cats Protection Maidenhead, Slough and District branch will be at Bray Fete on Sunday and fundraising activities will continue, but the team is on the lookout for anyone who can help out either through donations or as a volunteer.
Visit maidenhead.cats.org.uk or call 01628 620909 for more details.
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