Animal cruelty rise in Newham sparks a crisis

Charity in crisis in Canning Town

A huge rise in the number of animal cruelty cases and pets being abandoned has left welfare groups facing a crisis.

Charity workers at the Celia Hammond Animal Trust revealed the dramatic situation this week as they were horrified after the coldest night of the year, to find a cat carrier wrapped in a black plastic sack dumped outside the main doors of the their clinic in Canning Town.

Inside were seven cats and kittens so squashed they could barely move.

Said Celia: “We have no idea how long they had been there, cold and frightened and at the mercy of passing drunks. The constant noise of exploding fireworks must have added to their terror.


“The charity is struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of stray animals and cruelty cases mainly caused by irresponsible pet owners, who by refusing to neuter their pets, are contributing to the current pet population explosion.

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“Never have we experienced so many abandoned animals. Often this is because of their owners’ financial circumstances - people are being made redundant, being evicted, or having to go into hostels or B&B and if they need to go into rented accommodation can rarely take pets with them. Many end up on the streets.”

She said that in the last few weeks, as well as routine welfare cases, they have dealt with an unprecedented number of cruelty cases - cats shot with air rifles, a cat thrown like so much rubbish in a garbage bin along with her litter tray and food bowls.


“There was a cat found struggling to stay afloat in Royal Victoria Dock in Silvertown. It was pulled out by a member of the public who brought her to us, where we found to our horror that she was full of milk and her kittens could have been thrown into the water with her and drowned (we searched but couldn’t find them),” said Celia.

She also cited the car of a young female cat thrown out of a moving car on a busy main road and picked up by a shocked passer-by s, three cats in separate instances fallen in suspicious circumstances from balconies several floors up, plus numerous cats and kittens dumped in bags, boxes and pet carriers all across the borough, some where they would be found easily and some where they were very lucky to be found at all.

A distraught Celia said: “What happened to our proud description of a nation of animal lovers?”

The Celia Hammond Animal Trust clinic, since it opened in Canning Town in 1999, has provided a veterinary service for low income pet owners who couldn’t afford to get their animals treated and has run a 24 hour rescue service for sick and injured stray and feral cats. They respond to emergency calls from members of the public, the police, social services, mental health teams and anyone else who needs our assistance.

Now they are asking the public to help them. Said Celia: “Please see if you have room in your heart and home to adopt cats or kittens from us as we desperately need to free up space to help the ever increasing number of abandoned animals that we need to accommodate.

“We are already overwhelmed by the number of people needing veterinary treatment for their pets but we now also being asked to provide treatment for a rapidly growing number of desperate pet owners who previously qualified for treatment at other charities but no longer qualify due to a change in those charities’ rules.

“C.H.A.T is hurting financially with the provision of all these essential services. Can we appeal to the people we have helped for the last 13 years and those who support our ideals to consider donations to help us through what is proving to be a very difficult time for our charity. We are determined to try not to cut back on the services we provide but we fear this will be inevitable without your help”