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Celebrity volunteer Carley Stenson gives Birmingham cats the star treatment!

25 May 2015
Celebrity volunteer Carley Stenson gives Birmingham cats the star treatment! 25 May 2015

Celebrity cat lover and former Hollyoaks star Carley Stenson rolled up her sleeves to help Cats Protection in Birmingham this week.

Carley took time out of performing in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the New Alexandra Theatre to help care for cats at the charity’s North Birmingham Branch and Birmingham Adoption Centre. 

During her two days of volunteering, Carley fed and groomed cats, socialised shy and withdrawn cats to help them trust people and learned about different aspects of Cats Protection’s work.

Both the branch and centre are currently stretched beyond capacity looking after 215 cats between them including Annie a twelve-year-old black and white cat at the North Birmingham branch.

“Annie loves a bit of attention and started meowing at me as soon I got to the branch!” said Carley.

“She’s been at the branch for almost a month and though she was microchipped the branch found it was linked to a very old address and so was unable to find her owner. As they can’t hold onto cats indefinitely they are now looking for a new home for her. She is FIV-positive – the feline equivalent of HIV – but it isn’t a problem as many cats with the virus lead normal lives and can remain healthy for many years. She needs an indoor home to reduce the risk of her spreading the virus to other cats, though it can’t be passed onto humans.”

The charity is also struggling with an influx of unwanted kittens and Carley met four of them, Norris, Nora, Norman and Noddy at the Birmingham Adoption Centre.    

Carley said: “The centre got a frantic call from an owner who said their cat had given birth and they couldn’t cope with five cats in all. Fortunately the centre had space to take the kittens and arranged to get the mum cat neutered. The kittens were a little nervous at first but after a few weeks of tender loving care, they’ve come out of their shell and would make ideal family pets.”

“Incidents like this highlight how important it is for owners to neuter their cats. One unneutered cat can produce up to 18 offspring in one year, so neutering will drive down the numbers of unwanted cats needing homes in the future.”    

Sheila Pennell, of the charity’s North Birmingham Branch said: “We are really grateful for Carley for taking time out of her busy schedule to help us raise awareness of unwanted cats in Birmingham. For every one unwanted cat we help there are many more waiting to come in so we hope Carley’s visit inspires more people to adopt a cat from us.”   
Photo credit: Andrew Hill