An animal rescue charity has slammed the cruel treatment of a cat left to suffer with extremely matted fur as ‘shameful’.
Jerry, an elderly female tortoiseshell cat, could barely walk when she was found distressed in a Blackpool street when she was rescued by volunteers from Nine Lives in Mereside.
Vets fear the underweight cat, which was rescued on Wednesday, could have been neglected and left to suffer for up to three years.
Hanna Statham, a spokeswoman for Nine Lives, said: “This is shameful Blackpool.
“Jerry was extremely neglected and has an extremely large fur mat, which she has been carrying for at least a year. It was nine inches long and four inches thick.
“I’ve seen this on TV, but I’ve never seen anything like this in real life. We get calls about cats being left in boxes, but nothing as bad as this.”
It’s so hard to see such a beautiful cat in this condition. She’s so lucky she’s been found.Hanna Statham
Jerry was taken by volunteers to the Nine Lives centre on Lytham Road, South Shore where pictures were taken of her matted fur. She was then taken to the vets where she was shaved, fed and watered.
Vets said the larged balls of matted fur removed from the cat would have been painful and uncomfortable.
Hanna said: “It’s so hard to see such a beautiful cat in this condition.She’s so lucky she’s been found,
“The good thing about Jerry is, she’s eating and drinking fine.”
The charity, which was set up in 2001, was alerted to the pet’s suffering by national animal rescue organisation Harvey’s Army.
Hanna said: “They alert us if there is a cat in the area that need help and we will look after it.
“Luckily, we have lots of foster carers and volunteers. About 20 of each.
“We are always looking for more and we will be looking for a long term foster carer for Jerry.”
Clifton ward Councillor, Luke Taylor said finding a cat is this state is very upsetting.
He said: “This is very sad.
“It is very upsetting for anyone to see, we’re just thankful it wasn’t a child who discovered it.
“The council have been working in the area, so it must have been hidden away and brought out by a dog or something.
“We clean the streets as often as possible, taking into account council cuts, but hopefully nothing like this will ever happen again.”
Hanna also warned about the number of cases Nine Lives deal with on a daily basis and says something needs to be done.
She said: “The phone just never stops ringing.”
For more information visit: www.blackpoolninelives.co.uk or call 01253283349