I AM writing to you to express my disappointment with the article you published on October 23 entitled ‘Charity ban on kittens’.
In essence, Wood Green paid £500 of its donors' money to cover vet bills to ensure two kittens did not die, yet we are portrayed as the villains of the story!
The facts of this case are that Mrs Flann found three kittens and kept them for some time before she took them to Cromwell's Veterinary Surgery in Huntingdon.
Two kittens were found to be in a poor condition and suffering from dehydration. She was unable to pay the cost of the essential care and made the decision to take the healthiest kitten home while signing the other two over to Cromwell's.
The staff at Cromwell's made sure Mrs Flann knew exactly what she was signing and that this meant that Cromwell's were now the owners of the kittens. Subsequently, Cromwell's contacted Wood Green to see if we would pay the £500 vet bill and take ownership of the kittens.
Three days later the kittens' treatment was complete and we were asked to collect them from Cromwell's.
On the same day, we were contacted by Mrs Flann to say that she had changed her mind and would like the kittens back. We said that we would let her have them back, but that she would have to reimburse us for the vet bills we paid. She declined to pay the vet bill, but said she would tell the newspapers we would not let her have the kittens back - even though they now belonged to Wood Green.
The kittens, named Marmalade and Marmaduke by our staff, are now in individual foster homes and will receive round-the-clock care until they are well enough to be found new, loving homes.
Ownership of a pet brings huge rewards, but also brings responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is to provide healthcare for your pet. With that in mind, we feel confident the right decision was made for both the kittens and Mrs Flann.
Interestingly, Mrs Flann subsequently returned to Cromwell's with the kitten that she had kept because it was also suffering with dehydration, at which time she agreed with the Cromwell's staff that their original decision to get her to sign over the two poorly kittens was the right one.
Every week we receive more than 14 requests to help pets in need of veterinary care because their owners cannot afford the treatment or do not have pet insurance. These requests include treating issues such as broken legs, jaws, ear infections, skin disorders and dental problems.
We would love to have a bottomless pot of money to help all of these struggling pet owners, but we are a charity that receives no government or lottery funding. We rely solely on the generosity of the public, and we must ensure we spend our donors' money as wisely as possible and in a way that best benefits all the animals in our care.
As your local animal welfare charity, we would hope that Hunts Post readers appreciate the work we do across the community not only in finding homes for pets in need but also promoting responsible pet ownership through providing support, education and guidance to both new and existing pet-owners.
Unfortunately though, the way your story was slanted it could have an adverse impact on Wood Green's reputation and our ability to raise funds. I only hope this letter will go some way to restore the balance.
Wood Green, the Animals Charity