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Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone Branch statement

Some of you may have seen reports today claiming an RSPCA branch has spent £1 million looking after 12 cats and we’d like to reassure you that is absolutely not true.

The Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone branch has actually cared for, rehabilitated and rehomed more than a hundred times that figure - about 1,300 cats - since this cattery was built. 

The branch has also neutered and microchipped thousands cats and contributed towards vet bill to help the owners of more than 1,600 injured and sick felines in this time.

It all started back in 2011, there was a desperate shortage of facilities to care for cats in this area and when the opportunity arose to buy a house with a big enough garden for a cattery the branch bought it.

The house is the property of the branch - not individual trustees - and has proved to be a good investment as it has risen in value since it was bought.

On site the branch built a cattery and an isolation block to prevent the spread of illness, and put in an electricity supply and driveway - all of which obviously costs money.

The branch prides itself on taking in the cats most in need. Many of these cats have been rescued by RSPCA inspectors from the most appalling situations.

Like James who was found at the roadside with burns to his face, Max who lost his eye after an awful injury or Cooper the day-old kitten found soaked in a rainy garden. All three were carefully nursed back to health, rehabilitated and rehomed - again all of which costs money. 

The running costs, buying cat litter, food, paying staff wages and extensive vet bills are not unusual for an animal charity caring for the most abused and damaged cats. We believe this is money well-spent and what supporters expect the branch to do with their donations.

In the press report it mentioned there is a house on site where staff live ‘rent free’. The house is used by the cattery manager to care for cats around the clock. This is a perfectly normal arrangement for most animal establishment where sick animals may need intensive care.

And when it came to recruiting, job interviews for a cattery manager and four other members of staff were carried out independently and positions were given based on merits of the candidates.

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