Search

Meet the Hornchurch couple who’ve been rescuing unwanted cats for 15 years

07:00 10 March 2014

Bill and Ann Holdsworth with some of their cats. They have run a cat rescue service for nearly 20 years. Picture by: Ellie Hoskins

Bill and Ann Holdsworth with some of their cats. They have run a cat rescue service for nearly 20 years. Picture by: Ellie Hoskins

Archant

Meet Ann and Bill Holdsworth – the couple who are helping Havering’s unwanted felines one at a time.

Bill with some of the cats. Picture by: Ellie HoskinsBill with some of the cats. Picture by: Ellie Hoskins

From their small shop in Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, the couple – both in their late sixties – help to re-home more than 200 cats a year while both working day jobs.

The RSPCA deals with more than 1,000 mistreated cats each year and these are only the cases it is aware of.

It fears that many more cases of cruelty or neglect go unreported.

This is why people like Ann and Bill are so vital.

The couple rescue around 200 cats a year. Picture Ellie HoskinsThe couple rescue around 200 cats a year. Picture Ellie Hoskins

Bill said: “We have been doing this for about 15 years now. It started when we re-homed a cat on behalf of a lady called Eileen Lewis who used to run a cat rescue operation around here. She’d been doing it for 30 or 40 years and sadly passed away not long after that.

“After that first pussycat, it just snowballed and we began taking on more and more. These days it’s getting harder to home them and there’s more that need our help. Over the course of a year we re-home about 200 adults and kittens. If we get a pregnant cat we keep her until she has her babies and then we have her spayed and try to find homes for her and her offspring.

“When it comes to finding new homes, if it’s a friendly cat then that makes it much easier, unfortunately people don’t have the patience for the more difficult cases. We have a lovely eight-year-old called Jane who hasn’t been able to find a home because she doesn’t take well to strangers at first, but we’ve grown to love her.”

It’s a job that has seen their own feline collection to swell to 16.

Bill said: “Once a cat has been unable to find a home for a very long time and has been here for a number of years, we start to consider him or her one of our own.”

The couple are determined to keep on helping cats for as long as they can.

“As long as we can walk we’ll keep doing it,” Bill added.

If you think you’d like to adopt one of their furry friends, call Bill and Ann’s cat rescue on 01708 440453.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

36 minutes ago
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Picture: Katie Collins/PA

7.20am: Minor delays on the District Line due to an earlier signal failure.

As fireworks light up the skies above Havering, firefighters will walk out in a strike that has been described as putting “people’s lives at risk”.

Yesterday, 18:55
The power cut is causing delays between Liverpool Street and Shenfield

Trains between Liverpool Street and Shenfield are delayed this evening due to electrical supply problems at Forest Gate.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

It’s deforestation, but not as you’ve seen it before.

One student’s efforts to raise money and awareness this Remembrance Day has split the public – some love them while others loathe them.

A 53-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a fire at a fireworks warehouse which left two people missing. Staffordshire Police said the two people remain “unaccounted for” following the fire which broke out at the industrial unit at about 5.15pm yesterday. The force said it was in contact with the missing people’s family […]

To steal the budget store’s own puns, isn’t it a Lidl surprising that their Christmas food is so good?

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition