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Cats dumped around Sedgemoor
PET owners have vented their fury after a spate of cat-dumpings around Bridgwater – following national media scare stories claiming the animals spread disease.
The Mercury has received reports of cats being abandoned outside Jolley’s Pet Store, along the A38, on Bristol Road and at veterinary centres within the last fortnight.
Animal lovers fear this is linked to media reports, based on figures by The Food Standards Agency, which target cats as a source of toxoplasmosis, a disease which can affect people with weakened immune systems.
Leah Mounter, supervisor at Jolley’s, told the Mercury two cats were abandoned at the store yesterday morning (September 6).
She said: “My colleague found them in a Pampers box. A mother, who was still a kitten, had been abandoned with her baby.
“The reports on toxoplasmosis are absolutely ridiculous. We are concerned more cats will be abandoned now.
“The disease affects a very limited number of people and can be avoided through basic hygiene and is not a recent discovery.”
Anna Zabicka, assistant vet at Castle Veterinary Practice, also said the vets had recently had an abandoned cat brought in.
She said: “The member of the public who brought it to us said it had been wondering around for a while.
“The cat was friendly and young, with a collar. At some point it must have belonged to someone.”
Animal lover Jane Somerset, who volunteers for an animal charity, was contacted after the cats were found at Jolley’s.
Jane who is currently caring for a female kitten, between 12 to 14 weeks old, after it was dumped on the A38 between Highbridge and Burnham, said another case occurred under two weeks ago.
“A delivery driver stopped to examine a shoe box on Bristol Road and found three kittens inside,” She said. They have since been re-homed.
Jane added: “These are examples of exactly what we feared would happen as a result of these reports.
“The parasite, Toxoplasma Gondii, can get into the food chain via cats faeces causing contamination of soil, water and plants.
“But most people contract Toxoplasmosis by eating undercooked meat, inadvertently ingesting contaminated soil through gardening or eating unwashed vegetables.
“Basic household hygiene, as all of us cat owners know, is the key to avoid this parasite but everyone’s very concerned people will read these articles and dump their cats.”
Jane is seeking the owner of the 12 to 14 week-old kitten to call her on 07912501018.