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Responsible pet ownership

We are reminding customers about the importance of responsible pet ownership.

We recognise the positive impact that pets can have on their owners’ lives, but you need to ensure that your pets don’t cause any issues for you and your community.

If you have a pet, it is your responsibility to make sure it is properly cared for, kept under control and does not cause a risk or nuisance to people living nearby. You must also ensure that pets do not cause any damage to your home.

We recently had a situation where 16 cats, 14 kittens and three dogs were found living in unsuitable conditions inside one of our homes following the eviction of a squatter.

Thanks to the charities Cats Protection and Pet Welfare Stafford, the abandoned cats and dogs were able to be rescued. Cats Protection neutered and microchipped each cat and Pet Welfare Stafford have worked with the dogs to introduce them to the outside world.

Mandy, from Pet Welfare Stafford, said: “We were involved in this rescue. Alongside the 16 cats and 14 kittens, there were three dogs left inside the house. We took them into our care.

“They were totally unsocialised and very frightened of the outside world. We have been working with the dogs introducing them to outside life.

“Before taking on a pet people need to consider an animals welfare needs. If these needs cannot be met, then do not take on the responsibility of owning an animal.”

Having your cat neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas is the best way to protect your cat’s health and welfare, and prevent problems such as unwanted kittens.

Neutering is a simple procedure that prevents cats from breeding and helps them lead healthier, happier lives. Cats can start breeding at a very young age, so both male and female kittens should be neutered from around four-months-old.

Cath, Branch Coordinator for Cat Protection in Stafford, said: “We have recently been involved in helping with a multi-cat household where 16 adult cats have been neutered and 14 kittens taken into care for rehoming.

“Did you know one female cat can have three to four litters of kittens each year possibly producing 18 to 24 kittens. If they go unneutered, and start having kittens themselves, the problem of inter-breeding may start with poorly kittens being born.

“The benefits of neutering are numerous, for females – reduced risk of womb infections, mammary cancer and other tumours and males are less likely to get into fights causing injuries such as abscesses, reduces the likelihood of spraying and reduces the risk of them contracting and spreading diseases to other cats.”

Cats Protection currently have a subsidised neutering scheme where anyone in receipt of certain benefits, state pension or low income can have their cats neutered and microchipped for £10 per cat.

To check which vets near you are taking part in the scheme please have a look at www.cats.org.uk. Click on neutering and choose Central England followed by West Midlands.

Please contact us if you are considering keeping a pet in your Homes Plus home, as there may be restrictions that could prevent you from doing so. You can private message us on the My Homes Plus Facebook page or call us on 0800 048 8955.