Police were called to a house in Gainsborough after cat rescue groups gathered outside a home claiming a man living there was keeping more than 50 cats – though some estimated the number was between 80 and 90.
Page’s Pet Rescue, Feral Rescue, and Whiskers and Cattitude gathered at the property on Portland Terrace during the evening of Thursday, September 9. They say they tried to knock on the man’s door to speak to him, but to no avail, and police then ‘turned up in force’.
Lincolnshire Police say they are working with the RSPCA and will be speaking to the householder today.
The rescue groups are also planning to hold a peaceful protest in the area at 5pm on Friday, September 10 to try to get the authorities to ‘listen and take action’. The rescue groups say they are concerned for the cats, as well as the man’s welfare.
Michelle Page of Page’s Pet Rescue told The Lincolnite she has been aware of the situation for several years. She said the RSPCA, West Lindsey District Council and local MP have all been contacted, but she said she believes no action has been taken.
She said: “We want our voice heard for the cats and for him. We are getting nowhere and this is our last option to go public. We don’t want any harm to come to him, just help for him and the cats.”
People in the area have reported seeing the man taking out cats on leads with bells and toys attached to them.
Melanie Barker, of Feral Rescue, says she is also concerned and will be part of the protest on Friday to try to get the authorities to take notice.
A Lincolnshire Police spokesperson said: “Officers attended a property at Portland Terrace, Gainsborough, yesterday following reports of groups of people gathering outside. This is believed to relate to a number of cats being kept at the address.
“There were two separate incidents – one reported at 6.16pm and another at 8.49pm.
“No one was arrested during either incident and on both occasions, the groups left the area.
“We are working alongside the RSPCA to establish the circumstances and are due to speak to the householder today. We would urge members of the public not to speculate while we are engaged in this process.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “We are aware of this incident. Unfortunately we are unable to discuss complaints about specific people, however we are grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare.
“A lot of the time issues will be dealt with by advice and education and it is not always appropriate to publicise this information for legal reasons.”
A West Lindsey District Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of concerns and are currently liaising with the police. At this stage, we cannot comment any further while an investigation is under way.”