Felines freed for Christmas need homes
'Tis the season for some feline festivity at the National Animal Centre in Longford where 50 cats freed from a life of lab testing are experiencing their first Christmas.
The super furry creatures have yet to learn the supercilious ways of their non-lab peers and are playfully getting stuck in to their new surroundings.
"They are superb," says Eva Ellis, centre manager with the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA). "They are extremely interactive, friendly and with gentle personalities. They are like little dogs."
They may have been freed in time for Christmas but they are urgently in need of homes.
The cats are among the last of the lab animals released to the ISPCA from the Charles River Laboratory, where they were bred in captivity for the purposes of testing veterinary products. A small number of cats that remain at the laboratory are due to be released to the ISPCA this week, bringing to an end the 12-month operation that saw more than 600 lab animals rescued and rehomed.
However, the cats' quarters at the National Animal Centre are now full, intensifying the need to find them homes. Eva Ellis said the cats need quiet homes where they will be kept indoors. As the cats are not used to be being separated, she hopes that people would consider taking two.
"These cats will be superb for people with busy lifestyles, who are living in apartments or older people," she said. "There has been no issue with these cats. They are amazing. It's like they are really grateful."
The ISPCA has removed, 346 beagles and 257 cats from the facility since last year. Twelve beagles are still waiting to be rehomed.