Sheffield Cat Shelter struggles with the rebound from the pandemic pet boom

Sheffield Cat Shelter has been overwhelmed with increased numbers of cats needing shelter and sky-high costs during the current lockdown.

The shelter, set up in 1897, has seen the return of many cats that were adopted in the first lockdown as people realise the long-term commitment of owning a pet, yet adoption applications are still flooding in.

Deputy cat welfare manager at the shelter, Rebecca Hollingworth, said: “Adoption applications have gone crazy. If anything, it has been more difficult to find suitable homes for the cats as we have been so inundated with applications and have to sift through them to find a match.”

The shelter, which relies entirely on donations, stated that many of the consumables for cats have tripled in price during lockdown. Moreover, their two charity shops were forced to close under the coronavirus restrictions, so cutting off a major source of revenue and leaving the charity financially bruised.

Miss Hollingworth said: “There are so many ways, big and small, that the pandemic has affected us, and I think we will be seeing the effects for a long time to come.”

To help raise funds, the shelter is encouraging people to sacrifice a luxury over lent and donate the money they save to the shelter.

Fiona Dukalsis and her partner recently adopted a cat, named Hamish, from the shelter. They spoke highly of the small charity and strongly encouraged people who have both the money and time for a cat to adopt from the shelter.

Miss Dukalsis, who began thinking about adopting prior to the pandemic, said: “I know that the shelter is struggling and needs the funds to continue to give the high level of care to all their rescue cats.”

When speaking about today’s Chancellor’s budget speech, the shelter explained that any funding made available to smaller charities would be well-received, though they doubt this will happen.

Miss Hollingworth said: “Ours is a small charity with a big heart, and we believe all animals deserve the absolute best care and wonderful lives, and we are determined to make sure they have this.”

If you would like to donate to Sheffield Cat Shelter click here.

Written by Emma Leyva

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