Abandoned Canal Cats Seek Purrfect new Homes

Annie and Bonnie were found on the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal

Two inseparable cats are ‘learning to love’ again after being abandoned by the side of a canal in Derbyshire.

Bewildered Annie and Bonnie were left in two separate cat carriers with no food or water on the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal near Chellaston in early September.

Loud meows from one of the cats alerted a passer by, who then contacted the RSPCA.

The duo have been recovering from their ordeal at the charity’s Hillfield Animal Home in Stretton – which has taken in nearly 200 unwanted cats so far this year – and after several weeks of TLC, they are ready for a fresh start with a new family.

Annie and Bonnie’s appeal comes as the RSPCA has launched its annual Adoptober rehoming drive – a month-long campaign promoting adoption – at a time when new figures show that animal intake has increased but rehoming has slowed.

According to the writing which was scribbled on the top of the pet carriers, Annie, who is black, is four years and four months old, while Bonnie, a dark tortoiseshell, is one year and three months old.  Two red and pink collars had also been left.

A check on Annie’s microchip failed to locate her owner, while Bonnie wasn’t microchipped.

The RSPCA is investigating their abandonment and the charity is appealing to anyone who may have information about the cats, to come forward.

Cyan Cooper, administrator at Hillfield Animal Home, said: “These beautiful girls were once someone’s pets and it’s heartbreaking to think they were left in these very sad circumstances. We’ve worked hard to gain their trust and confidence and they are slowly learning to love and enjoy life again.

“We know times are tough and people are facing unprecedented difficulties at the moment but it’s never acceptable to abandon an animal and we would urge anyone who is struggling to take care of their pet to ask for help.

“The RSPCA has also launched an online Cost of Living Hub with money saving tips and advice for anyone who is finding times hard.”

Annie and Bonnie couldn’t be more opposite in personality, yet they enjoy nothing more than curling up in a bed together. Annie is the more outgoing and friendly of the two and is always ready to receive or seek fuss from both familiar and new people; she’s not phased by new environments and loves exploring.

Bonnie is a lot quieter and timid and looks to Annie for comfort and support. She’s not so sure of new people, but once she’s got to know you, she’ll accept a stroke. She’ll definitely take more time to come out of her shell in a new home, but with patience and encouragement – along with the companionship of her friend Annie – she will make a really wonderful pet.

Visit the centre’s website for more details about how to adopt them.

New figures released by the RSPCA as part of its month-long Adoptober campaign, show that the charity’s centres and branches across England and Wales rehomed almost 27,000 animals last year (2021), eight percent less than the previous year.

At the same time, more animals are arriving into the charity’s care and the average length of stay has increased, resulting in long waiting lists for spaces in rehoming centres.

For people who are able to bring a pet into their home, the RSPCA urges them to consider adopting rather than buying. Many of the charity’s animals will already be neutered, vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms – making it a much more cost-effective option.

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