A mother is desperate to find medical help for her 35 rescued cats after being banned from the local vet.
Lisa James started Cat and Kitten Rescue from her home in Middlesborough 12 years ago and has treated the animals at Whitecross Vets for the last ten years.
She was told the pet should be euthanized after vets found Jason, who was being treated for facial wounds due to fighting, had feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
When the mother-of-four didn’t take her advice, Whitecross Vets sent her a letter urging her to find another practice.
She said they will no longer treat two of their other rescue cats, who were already booked to be spayed, vaccinated and microchipped.
Lisa had since rescued another 33 cats, including one who was paralyzed, from a property near Albert Park and they are in dire need of help.
She said she spotted “thin, frightened and starving” cats and kittens cooped up in rooms with no food, toys or bedding, with windows taped shut.
She has raised the funds needed to treat the animals on Go Fund Me, but cannot find a veterinary practice that would undertake the rescue.
Lisa, who has rescued thousands of cats over the years, said: “I received a letter suspending my accounts and stating that they will no longer treat my animals or others in my care.
“That’s because I refused to take your advice on euthanizing a healthy cat because she was feral and FIV positive.
“He’s not sick, he’s not suffering, he can lead a perfectly normal life! Why should he be deprived of that because he is FIV positive?”
“I’ve called and emailed everywhere and veterinary surgeries are either not accepting new clients or can’t take on so many people that everyone needs immediate veterinary care – health checks, neutering, vaccinations.”
Lisa said she was “angry” that just days after her appointment with Jason, Whitecross Vets sent her a letter informing her that she had been removed from the practice, rather than speaking to her personally about the situation to speak.
The letter, which they sent out on February 21, said: “A satisfactory professional relationship between a client and their veterinarian must be founded on a basis of mutual trust and trust.
“From our point of view, it is clear that our relationship no longer has such a basis.
“We are therefore giving you 21 days’ notice that our professional services will no longer be provided to your animals and we ask that you seek the services of another veterinary practice.”
Lisa said she rescued the 33 cats on February 24, two days after receiving the letter from Whitecross Vets, and has desperately and unsuccessfully contacted other practices in the area.
She has urged every practice, ideally in the Middlesbrough area, to get in touch if they can help.
Lisa said: “I just think it’s a cowardly way to do it. Why couldn’t I be called to discuss things and sort out the problem. I just get a letter instead.
“We always had a vet by our side, we never had any trouble getting in.
“Since Covid started there has been a shortage of vets. I knew that, but I didn’t think it would be as difficult to find someone as it is right now.
“I’m worried about how I’m going to sort the animals. I can’t get all of these cats that I’ve health screened and neutered.
“25 out of 33 now have to be neutered before they start breeding and all have to be vaccinated.
“There’s this paralytic who must have been stamped, pulling her rear end. We need to see what is best for her in terms of quality of life and make sure she is not in pain.
“There is also a cat that has a bad eye and needs to be seen.
“It’s not right that we just sit and beg and nobody helps us.”
Whitecross Vets told Teesside Live that they are unable to comment on the matter due to “customer confidentiality and the General Data Protection Regulation”.
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