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Feral cats rescued from a house in Kirton, living with HART volunteers at Cranwell.
Feral cats rescued from a house in Kirton, living with HART volunteers at Cranwell.

A rescue mission to catch over a dozen cats has been hailed a success but now the feral felines need good homes.

The Hollies Animal Re-Homing Trust (HART), based in Ruskington, recently successfully completed the capture of 16 feral cats in a single rescue mission. The trust is now urgently appealing to anyone who is able to provide a home to some or all of the cats.

Earlier this month. HART’s re-homing co-ordinator Paula Robertson took a call from a woman whose father had died and her mother was having to leave her home in Kirton, near Boston and she was concerned about what would happen to the mother’s 13 cats and three young kittens, most of which were feral.

Due to the scale of the operation, HART suggested the RSPCA for the job but they were at capacity and could only take the kittens and their mother, leaving the remaining cats with nowhere to go and the prospect of being put to sleep looming over them.

When HART’s committee members and volunteers heard of the cats’ fate, they decided they had to take action and so trustee Tracy Healy and volunteers Jamie Healy, Katie Wright and Hannah McMullen got in touch with some of their contacts who had some empty cat chalets and asked them if they could house some of the cats temporarily.

They went to Kirton and managed to catch four of the cats and returned a couple of days later to collect all but two of the rest. Some were taken to volunteers’ homes, while others went to Foxhall Veterinary Clinic in Ruskington for neutering and blood testing. One of the elderly cats had a very badly infected joint and had to be put to sleep.

Then, last Monday, the last two were caught and taken to Foxhall Vets.

One of the female cats was found to have contracted the feline AIDS virus and also had to be put to sleep.

Tracy said: “Some of the cats can be quite approachable and could easily make a lovely family pet, while others will need to be released onto a farm to live out their days. Some places are in the ‘pipeline’ but nothing concrete as yet. This has been a very costly and time consuming project but so worthwhile.”