Peter Shergold, Cats Protection’s Head of Field Operations, says:
"Firstly, we want to reassure people that our help and support for cats and their owners in Swansea and the surrounding area continues and that anyone needing help should contact us in the first instance.
"In relation to our Swansea & District Branch, there have been concerns raised that our high cat welfare standards were not being met, as well as operational and financial administration issues which we are in the process of investigating. During this process, key committee members have been stepped down. This means the branch is unable to run and is therefore temporarily paused while the investigation is completed and new plans for the branch and its accompanying shop at Bryn Y Mor Road can be made.
"Our welfare team has continued working with branch volunteers to provide the remaining cats in care with any veterinary treatment they need and is committed to finding them loving new homes as they become ready. We are also working with a local cattery, the RSPCA and our Bridgend Adoption Centre to help support local fosterers affected by this, as well as supporting the wider community with continued help for their cats. As an organisation we’re passionate about cat welfare in the Swansea area. We have allocated a member of staff to work with our local volunteers full time and we’re confident this will ensure the best provision for cats moving forward.
"It would not be appropriate to comment any further on this until we have finished investigating these matters. The nearby Mumbles shop will continue to trade as usual and we have invited volunteers from the Bryn Y Mor Road shop to join the Mumbles team should they wish.
"Sadly, a number of our employees and volunteers have been subjected to abusive behaviour which we have reported to the police*. We are providing wellbeing support to our employee and volunteer teams who have been affected by this. Cats Protection is a compassionate organisation and there is never any excuse to threaten or intimidate people in this way. We urge everyone in the area to refrain from speculation and rumour and allow us to carry out our investigation.
"Cats Protection invites anybody who has concerns to get in touch."
*Due to this being an ongoing police investigation it is not appropriate for us to comment further.