Row over sick cats at shelter

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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A DONCASTER couple have expressed their disgust at an animal charity - which they claim threatened them with legal action after they took five abandoned kittens to its shelter.

Karen and Doug Aitken, of The Green, Bawtry, were stunned when RSPCA staff threatened them for leaving the animals at the Bawtry centre on Great North Road.

Now they say they have decided to withhold any future donations to the charity.

The couple were walking their dogs near Misson Springs when they found a box with five kittens inside.

Karen said: “It was snowing at the time and it was about minus six degrees centigrade.

“We couldn’t take the kittens home as we have two dogs so we took them to the RSPCA centre but we were shocked by their reaction.

“It was as if they didn’t want to know because the cats had cat flu.

“They said they couldn’t help us. I turned to Doug and said to him that we should just leave the animals there, and as we turned to walk out, the woman told us that if we did that they would trace our car registration number and we would be prosecuted.

“We couldn’t believe it.”

Eventually staff at the centre did agree to take the kittens.

Karen added: “I used to give money on a monthly basis to the RSPCA but I won’t be doing any more. We were treated like criminals for wanting to save five young cats.”

RSPCA spokeswoman Leanne Plumtree said: “The kittens all had cat flu, which is highly contagious.

“Unfortunately, as we had no space to take them which was away from other cats, we had to advise the couple to take the kittens away and call the national RSPCA control room so that an officer could be tasked to collect them.

“While we will always do our best to take abandoned animals brought in by members of the public, we can only do this when we have room - and sadly we are full to bursting point.

“The conversation did get heated, which is regrettable.

“Despite the situation the kittens were left with the centre staff, with the intention of an officer coming to collect them, but a branch fosterer agreed to take them.

“The kittens are being treated and it’s hoped they’ll be up for re-homing when they’re fit and healthy.”

Earlier this year two Doncaster women complained about the lack of an RSPCA response when they found an injured dog in Nutwell Lane, Armthorpe.