A FAMILY who rescued three abandoned kittens has been told by an animal charity they cannot keep them.

A FAMILY who rescued three abandoned kittens has been told by an animal charity they cannot keep them.

After rescuing the three animals from the side of a busy road in Bury St Edmunds, Peter Flann, 54, and his wife Diane, of Wantage Gardens, Little Paxton, cared for the kittens, taking them to two vets to get them checked over.

But when two of the animals ended up at Wood Green, the Animals Charity, the couple were told, following an assessment, they were considered unable to give the kittens adequate care.

For that reason, Buster and Marmaduke are being rehomed by the centre.

“This has been an incredibly emotional time,” Mrs Flann, 50, told The Hunts Post. “When my husband brought the kittens home, we sat and bottle-fed them, we loved and cared for them, we took them to the vets to get them properly checked over, which we paid for.

“It was after the first visit to the vets that two of them became poorly, so we were told to take them into Cromwell Vets in Huntingdon. They told us that the kittens had a 30 per cent chance of surviving and we’d have a vet’s bill as long as our arm – about £500.

“Because of that we were encouraged to sign something – but I wasn’t aware they would be taken from us.”

Vets at the Cromwell practice treated the two kittens and then contacted the animal welfare department at Wood Green.

Vet David Fennell said: “I can’t comment on individual cases but we’re getting more and more instances where people come in and can afford basic treatments but not extensive procedures.

“We try to do things as economically as we can but when this happens there are many options available to the owners – one of which is signing them over to our care.

“We then work with Wood Green once the animals can be re-homed.”

Shelley Wooding, Wood Green’s head of animal welfare, said: “We understand the family did a lot and we would thank them for that, but we have strict re-homing criteria and need to be sure that people have the animals they want to re-home – which includes neutering.

“We do offer help but we can’t pay the whole fee. We felt the decision they made to sign the kittens over to Cromwells was the right one.”

Mrs Flann said: “We don’t think this is fair. I know we didn’t have the £500 up front to pay for the vet’s bills, but we said after first set of bills that we’d pay £100 and the rest when we got paid again at the end of the month.

“I think as vets they should have some compassion – we’ve given those kittens so much already.”

The third kitten, Basil, will remain with the family.