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Over the years, we have amassed a great number of statements from people asking for our help with distressing situations of neglect and cruelty.

The common thread through many of the statements is:

  • Irresponsible owners who keep numerous neglected cats and kittens.
  • The unwillingness of the authorities - Christchurch City Council, SPCA and Housing New Zealand to help.

The original statements are held by us should it be necessary to verify their authenticity.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the following statements are not necessary the views of Cats Unloved.

One person writes:

"My name is........... I live in a Council housing complex............. I was arrested and sent to the Paparoa Men's Prison for two weeks.

During this time I told the wing staff, doctor, my psychiatric nurse, the medical nurses and every officer and guard on duty that my cat Chloe was shut inside my flat and needed help.

While in prison (unbeknown to me) two neighbours were trying to help my cat.......My neighbours rung the tenancy manager on 3 occasions asking her to open the flat and let the cat out. She refused.

They also phoned the SPCA. The SPCA refused to help.

After 5 or 6 days my neighbours decided that if the Council and the SPCA would not help there was nothing left to do but to break a window in order to rescue Chloe.

When Chloe was rescued she was skin and bone. She had pulled out her hair both sides of her body. She was too weak to stand.

My neighbours cared for my cat until I was released from prison. 

The Council and the SPCA would have left her to starve to death. The very least the SPCA could have done was to ring the tenancy manager and ask her to let the cat out. But they did nothing."

The emaciated cat in the following image was one of 15 neglected cats from a Council housing tenant in Reg Stillwell Place, New Brighton that the SPCA would not help. The tenants in the complex had to take up a petition in order to get the Council to take action.

"My neighbour ...........has numerous neglected cats he doesn't feed.

They look for food in my garden rubbish. They are desperate for food.

I phoned the Council several times.

I also phoned the Health Department but they referred me back to the Council.

I also asked the SPCA for help. I estimate there could be 15 cats."‚Äč

The cat in this image is one of many neglected cats from McGregors Rd, Bromley. Frustrated neighbours went to the media trying to get help for the cats.

"Feral cats breeding indiscriminately.

Plus starving and diseased. Using my garden for their urinating and faeces. 

His cats have also died on my property. The SPCA said they couldn't do anything."

Another person writes:

"My neighbours at.................... have approx 15 cats PLUS kittens.

They come into my house looking for food. They use my place as a toilet.

I can't open my windows because of the smell nor do the garden because of the faeces and urine.

I have asked the SPCA for help but I was told there is no limit to the number of cats a person can have. I have also asked Housing N.Z. for help.

Another neighbour was feeding his cats but she died 2 weeks ago. Now the cats sit on the street waiting to be fed but of course she's dead and the cats go hungry.

I suspect that other people have laid poison to try to solve the problem. My own cat was poisoned. I'm planning to move because of the problem."

Another person writes about another situation:

"I live in Stourbridge St, Spreydon. The neighbour at the back of my property died and left 7 cats behind and as other people (including Housing N.Z. tenants) shift house, their cats get left behind too. Then the unspeyed females have kittens and so the problem just gets worse and worse.

At the moment I have 19 strays from the neighbourhood coming for food. These abandoned cats then grow up wild and I cannot catch them. I asked the SPCA for help but they couldn't help me or the cats.

I have asked my Housing N.Z. tenancy manager for help but he said it was 'my problem'. However, he suggested putting my rent up by $5 a week and therefore pay in instalments for Housing N.Z. to take the cats away."

Another person writes:

"I would like to bring to your attention an on going cat problem at......Thornton St, St Albans.

Mr..........lives in appalling filth and allows cats to breed unchecked.

The animals are all wild, flea-ridden and diseased. Blowflies are a problem year round and seem to come from inside the house.

There would be up to 20 cats in and around the house, although the exact number is hard to estimate because Mr.......... seems to keep the females inside for breeding and let the more aggressive males out to invade the neighbourhood. He seems to have a fetish for breeding kittens but loses interest once they mature.

A neighbour.......... found one of Mr.................. cats dead in the gutter outside his place when she was taking her son for a walk. She walked around the house, counting about 15 cats and approached Mr............. about the dead animal. At first he denied that it was one of his but he eventually removed the carcass.

I saw others of his cats licking the animal's blood from the gutter.

I contacted the SPCA to see what could be done but was told they can't go onto private property. The SPCA suggested I talk to the Christchurch City Council..........."

The following statement is an excerpt from a letter sent to the Mayor of Christchurch asking for help with an 'infestation' of neglected cats. Again, neither the SPCA or the Council would help.

"Re: Infestation of cats/unfed King St, Sydenham.

For the past five months I have telephoned and called in person at the Christchurch branch of the SPCA to ask their assistance in helping with the situation at the above address.

On each and every occasion I have been informed that they will attend "in due course", "too busy at the moment" and "when they get time". If five months does not give them enough time, what will?

I managed to catch two kittens and took them to a veterinarian who immediately euthanased them due to the dreadful condition they were in."

The cat in the following image came from Ryan St, Woolston. He is one of 18 neglected cats.

"My elderly neighbour passed away leaving behind a number of cats and kittens shut inside her house.

The Police broke in and advised us to ask for the SPCA's assistance in

trapping the cats as they could not be handled. However, the SPCA declined to help on the basis it is not their job.

A friend suggested we contact Cats Unloved. They came around straight away to assess the situation and to provide food for the cats who had been without food for such a long time that some were past the point of eating."

Another person writes:

"Excessive cat population usually between 20 to 30 cats at any one time. They use our property for toileting. Our garden is unusable and a health risk. 

I have contracted toxoplasmosis which is most likely to be contracted through cat faeces.

We often find dead cats in our garden through disease.

Apart from all of this, there is all the stress caused by this ongoing problem.

It got to the point were we were depressed by the situation and wanted to sell the house. They SPCA were sympathetic but said there was nothing they could do because there were no laws pertaining to cats."

Another person writes:

"After hearing, reading and watching advertisements of responsibility for caring of pets, rescuing lost pets and seeking help for stray, dumped pets the SPCA organization always comes to the fore, so after a phone call to the duty officer advising her of a dumped mother cat and 2 kittens we duly delivered them to the SPCA.

On arrival we were welcomed by 2 female officers who listened and accepted our plight. Whilst under discussion with them a surly male officer came along, interrupted and announced "We can't take them. We only rescue sick or hurt animals - take them away - we don't want them. Keep them."

I asked what we should do as we had already tried ourselves to find homes. His reply was 'Let them go." We were dumbfounded and speechless.

Here is an organization which specializes in educating people to take responsibility for their animals and he was suggesting we let them go. When I asked where - he replied "Anywhere - just let them go!"

We were utterly disgusted at our treatment and feel we deserve an explanation and apology. How embarrassing for his co-workers. Their reply was "Oh - sorry about that." Maybe it wasn't his first time."

Another person writes:

"My name is............... I live in Riley Crescent, Woolston.

My property backs on to Radley Park where cats are frequently abandoned.

I have been trying to feed 4 hungry strays plus my own cat on a limited income. The strays are all in poor condition and the female is pregnant.

I phoned the SPCA to ask for their help but was told they 'only deal with injured animals'.

If the SPCA only deal with injured animals then who is responsible for the city's homeless and abandoned cats?"

The cat in the following image was one of 18 cats abandoned by Housing N.Z. tenants in Tilford St Woolston.

"My neighbour...... left 18 cats behind two months ago. I phoned the SPCA but they said it was the landlords issue. So I phoned Housing N.Z. and they called Cats Unloved.

I have had cats in my house going to the toilet......and trying to keep warm. They meow on my doorstep wanting to be fed because they are starving. They have not been fed since ........... left 2 months ago."

Another person writes:

"My property backs on to.............. where there are numerous unwanted, abandoned and neglected cats and kittens.

I have rung the SPCA probably twice a week for the last month trying to get something done about these poor cats.

Recently,one of the pregnant cats had 3 kittens. By the evening she was still bleeding and the kittens were all dead.

If the SPCA won't help these neglected cats what are people supposed to do?"

The poor kittens in the following images come from a Housing N.Z. tenant in Aranui. A neighbour writes:

"Last year Cats Unloved helped to remove approx 10 neglected and diseased cats from the woman who lives at ..........

Unfortunately, this woman has acquired

Unloved and neglected kitten in Christchurch

more cats that she does not feed. They are hungry and diseased.

My doctor....... told me that my pregnancy was abnormal and

that my baby would be born deformed.

I am being exposed to a stream of neglected cats and kittens and I am not only concerned and distressed at the sight of them but I am also distressed at the thought that toxoplasmosis may have been the reason for my unborn baby being abnormal and being aborted.........I am depressed.

More recently this woman put one of the kittens in the mircowave. She laughed and said that it didn't matter because they 'don't have feelings'."

Another person writes:

"We are an elderly couple and live in an area where there are a lot of people who abandon their cats.

We have had many females turn up and have their litters on our property,

including one who

gave birth in our coal bin. Her kittens were sickly and their eyes full of conjunctivitis.

We have asked Housing N.Z. SPCA and the Council for help but it has only been Cats Unloved who have been willing to trap the cats for us.

We cannot bear to see them starve, especially the feeding mothers but trying to provide food for them all is impossible on a pension. This is an on going problem for us."

The kitten in the image below is from Housing N.Z. tenants in Glynne Crescent. She is one of 20-22 unspeyed, unneutered neglected cats neighbours tried unsuccessfully to help.

"My neighbours from.............Glynne Crescent...........have 20-22 cats.

These cats live in my front yard, in my garden, hedge, front door way, back door way, shed, BBQ etc.........

They defecate all over my garden, doorways and are always trying to get inside the house for food. I am not able to open my windows.

I have tried to get Housing N.Z, Christchurch City Council and the SPCA to sort out this problem but they cannot help."

The cats in the following image were abandoned by their owner in Rowses Rd, Bromley. The neighbour who tried to get help for them writes:

"My neighbour....... shifted to Invercargill and left 6 cats behind.

I phoned the Cats Protection League and they told me to phone the SPCA.

The woman at the SPCA said they wouldn't take them in.

I also phoned the Council. I have also spoken to .............. (Housing N.Z.) and he said to phone Cats Unloved."

The following is a statement made for Cats Unloved by the mother of a Christchurch City Councillor.

"I have lived at the above address for three and a half years.

During this entire time there has been an injured black male cat and female cat.

The female has produced many litters. The mother has golf ball size abscesses or tumours on her back. She is unwell and finding it difficult to walk.

The black male has a broken, bent and swollen tail. It is full of infection. It swells up to the size of an egg and then it will burst only to swell up again. It has burst twice just in the last 6 months.

I and my neighbours have contacted the Cats Protection League, the Council and the SPCA.

I have left messages at the SPCA for them to ring me but they don't. I have rung leaving messages at least 4 times in the last 6 months but the SPCA have never rung back.

On one occasion when I managed to get through to someone at the SPCA I was told the SPCA can only help injured animals. I explained two of the cats are injured and suffering.

I estimate there are at least 12 cats and kittens now.......Who is responsible for abandoned and injured cats if not the SPCA?"

The neglected cats in the following images are from Housing N.Z. tenants in Emmett St, Shirley. Several neighbours asked Housing N.Z. SPCA and the Council for help. Help was declined.

"My name neighbour has 21 unfed cats and kittens.

I have phoned the SPCA and Cats Protection to ask for help......but nothing has been done.

The cats are constantly scavenging for food.

They are desperate for food sick and starving.

Cats Protection said they couldn't help because it was a matter for the SPCA.

The cats steal my cat's food which I can't afford as I am on a benefit."

Another statement reads:

"My neighbour has numerous neglected cats. The females are constantly pregnant. They bring their kittens to me hoping to be fed.

I have phoned the SPCA asking them to help. They did nothing.

I took one of the sick kittens to Total Vets.

The vets phoned the SPCA as well to ask

them to investigate but the SPCA have done nothing. 

The cats have been left to starve and keep producing sick kittens. The cats and kittens are so hungry and diseased that they are cannibalizing each other. One of the mothers brought me a head and a paw.

We don't know if the mother had eaten her kitten or whether she was bringing the dead kitten to show me what was happening.

What am I supposed to do? I have 3 young children and am on the DPB. I cannot afford to feed all their cats. My children are being exposed to the on going suffering. Are they to grow up thinking that cruelty and neglect is acceptable?"

Another person writes:

"I am a concerned neighbour of......... Southampton St. For the last 6 years I have witnessed the growing population of what can only be described as a feral, unloved cats that have multiple health issues.

As a concerned neighbour I have tried several times to get numerous organisations to help but with no success.

I have had to take our own cat to the vets several times as it has become ill. I'm concerned for my own children playing so close to the faeces as I do not know what kind of diseases they may have.

The sight of these cats makes you feel ill. Some have green closed over eyes, fur loss and multiple scabs."

Another neighbour writes about the same situation in Southampton St:

I have a 10 year old daughter who is upset and concerned for these poor hungry cats. I have phoned the Council. My mother also and cousin, asking for help. We have called the SPCA on numerous occasions and have gotten no where.

I have also discovered ......... cats in my bread bin eating the bread.

I can't leave windows and doors open as the smell is unbearable."

Another statement made for Cats Unloved and another sad story of suffering and neglect.

I'm a paragraph. Click once to begin entering your own content. You can change my font, size, line height, color and more by highlighting part of me"I have had cats coming to eat anything they can get, including handy towels, used to wipe remaining oil from my fry pan after cooking. and selecting the options from the toolbar.

These cats and kittens are starving, cold and multiplying at a great rate. My neighbours have rung the SPCA several times."

Another person writes:

"Mrs............ has about 20 male cats, 15 females and kittens. I have rung the SPCA and was told that they can not do anything.

I have also rung the City Council and they said the same.

I then rang the Cats Protection League and they said they can not help.

I am tired of feeding every body else's cats that are not looked after by their owners.......... PLEASE, PLEASE do something about all these cats."

Another person writes regarding 8 abandoned cats and kittens:

"Approx 5 weeks ago, a former neighbour from .........Arawa St, Shirley shifted house and left 8 cats and kittens behind.

Wanting to do the right thing by the abandoned cats, we took them to the SPCA's shelter. 

Unfortunately, on arrival the SPCA refused to accept responsibility for the abandoned cats because we did not have permission from the former owner to remove them."

Another person writes:

"I have lived here for 5 years and there have always been numerous cats and kittens, hungry, starving, having one litter after another.

It does not matter who we turn to, nobody wants to know. We have thought of solving the problem ourselves.

I asked my son to catch all the kittens and put them into a sack and drown them. They have ringworm and every other diseased.

The SPCA didn't want to know "Buckleys" Bang your head on a bloody wall asking for their help. A bloody waste of time."

Someone else writes:

"My name is.......................I live in ............. Aranui. My father-in-law does not feed his cat or dog. Cats Unloved bring him cat food but he rarely gives it to him.

Unfortunately, I had to bury a previous cat of my own in the back garden. His dog dug it up and tried eating its remains. The dog is so hungry that he rips open rubbish bags and starts eating what's inside. Then afterwards..........will assault him."

Another person writes:

"I am an 87 year old man I feed many stray and abandoned cats that are dumped in an adjoining park close to where I live. Some weeks ago I rang the SPCA to ask them for help.

The only help they were prepared to give me was the phone number for Pest Control.

The SPCA did not suggest any other organisation and no other avenues of help were offered."

The cat in the following image was one of 9 abandoned cats from a Housing N.Z. complex in Hornby. As ridiculous as this sounds, Housing N.Z. tried to make another tenant in the complex responsible for the abandoned cats. Housing N.Z. even threatened to evict the other tenant for being 'in breach' of her tenancy conditons for keeping too many cats! The tenant sought help from Cats Unloved and the media.

"I am the tenant from Buchanans Rd. Your tenancy manager.......asked me to feed the abandoned cats and kittens my neighbour left behind.

I was assured that Housing N.Z. were going to have these cats

removed and I would not have to feed them indefinately. This has not happened.

I now understand that because I have fed them at your request and they are hanging around my property as they have no where to live, Housing N.Z. or you in particular are now claiming they are my responsibility.

This letter is to tell you that you cannot make me responsible for cats other people leave behind. I do not own them. I cannot afford to feed them.

I have enough problems of my own without you dumping this responsibility on me. All the other tenants in the cul-de-sac know where the cats came from and that I do not own them."

Someone else writes:

"Mr.......keeps 25 wild, underfed cats on his property.

These cats because they are permanently hungry, scavenge on our property and use our garden to defecate and urinate in.

My mother has become quite despondent about the amount of faeces in our garden. She is unable to work in the garden because of the contents and smell from the urine.

We have complained to the Christchurch City Council. The SPCA have also declined to help us and the cats. This has been an on going problem for the last 4 years."

The cat in the following image has a broken leg. He was one of 5 cats abandoned by Housing N.Z. tenants.

"For several of the past years we have lived opposite a family who have owned many poorly looked after and often cruelly treated cats and dogs.

This family shifted out of their State house abandoning their cats one of which had a broken leg.

Thank goodness for the unpaid caring women from Cats Unloved. You may ask why I did not contact the RSPCA regarding these animals? The answer is that I had a similar problem with the RSPCA many years ago and at that time had to resort to help from the Cats Protection League.

Cats Protection and Cats Unloved have obviously come about due to the inadequate behaviour response etc of the RSCPA Canterbury.

We get the RSPCA magazine from Auckland and firmly feel that the Christchurch branch needs to look at its public image and performance...."

"My neighbour has many cats, maybe 20. He does not feed them and they are always hungry. They come to my place looking for food. He does not desex them. The kittens are very weak and have eye infections.

I and many of the neighbours have phoned the SPCA. The SPCA say they cannot go onto the owners property and can't help the cats.

I have to feed the cats because the SPCA can't go onto the owners property. I am also trying to pay to have the cats desexed and have saved enough money to have 8 cats desexed.

Today, I phoned the SPCA because one of his cats is injured. The SPCA said that they would come but they cannot go onto his property. The cat is bleeding from and around the mouth. I am very worried and sad because this cat is suffering and who can help?

I tried to feed the cat this morning but the blood was dripping into the food and he couldn't eat. I also have people knocking at my door to tell me that my cats are not well. People think his cats are mine and that I am the one who is not caring for them."

Another person writes about another situation:

"I have been a resident at Ingoldsbury St for the past 18 months and it has come to my attention that the neighbouring house has a large number, possibly 30 unloved, wild cats.

They often come over to my home in search of food and wee and poo all over the garden.

I did ring the SPCA for support and all they said I could do was 'spray them with water' and that they had no authority to come around and collect them.

I know that this problem has been a concern for me and the landlord. On many occasions she has contacted the SPCA for help and received nothing in return.

Having spent many years in different parts of our beautiful country I do believe Christchurch to have a cat epidemic that needs treating."

Another person writes:

"My neighbour at.......................... Stewarts Gully, Kianga has numerous cats. I estimate at least 20.

I lodged my concerns for the condition of his cats with the SPCA but the only advice

they were able to give me was to suggest "one humane blow to the head."

Another person writes:

"I was very disappointed with the response I received from the SPCA when I contacted them in the past. One suggestion was to find someone who 'was a good shot with a gun'. I was amazed at this and needless to say I did not take them up on their advice and will not be contacted them again."

Another person writes:

"On New Year's eve I rang the SPCA regarding a dog at................ St which was in poor condition. Your staff told me they would investigate and let me know the outcome.

I've rung a couple of times since then regarding this dog and would like an answer as to why it has taken so long to do nothing.

Early May I rang again and spoke to ......... asking for help again. She told me it wasn't the job of the SPCA and for me to ring Dog Control.

If dogs are not important to you, then why are you there?

I note when the SPCA are appealing for donations they show a photo of a sad looking dog on the envelopes.

I think your staff need reminding where they are employed and what it is they are meant to be caring for.