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(Updated 30/01/01)

Friskies to rehome 200 dogs and 300 cats


A LEADING pet food manufacturer is set to close its pet food evaluation centre later this year, leading to over 200 dogs and 331 cats resident at the site in need of rehoming.


Friskies have decided to close down the pet food evaluation centre in Kennett, Suffolk by the end of 2001, as part of a streamlining exercise. The Kennett site was, for many years, an integral part of Spiller’s pet food operations. In 1998, Spillers were acquired by Friskies, who already had their own pet food evaluation centre. Since then, the need for Kennett has progressively reduced to the point where its continued use is no longer financially viable. The Friskies Consumer Careline Service will be relocated from Kennett to the company’s headquarters in New Malden, Surrey, although none of the dogs or cats currently used for pet food evaluation will be relocated.


However, Friskies have planned the closure well in advance and are liaising with the National Canine Defence League and Cats Protection to undertake the rehoming of all the animals concerned.


The dogs cover a wide diversity of breeds, including Labradors, West Highland Terriers, Beagles, Border terriers, Corgis, Springer Spaniels and at least one Miniature Schnauzer and one Bernese Mountain Dog.
The cats are understood to be all non-pedigrees.


A spokesperson for Friskies commented: “During the course of 2001, all the dogs and cats in the centre will be re-homed. Friskies intend to continue to provide them with a good quality of life, so they have enlisted the services of the acknowledged experts in these fields in the form of the NCDL and CP.”


David Rigg, Communications Director of the NCDL told OUR DOGS: “We will be rehoming over 200 dogs from the Friskies Kennett site over the next few months. We have already been contacted by a number of specialist Breed Rescues who have kindly offered their help in rehoming dogs of particular breeds. We are happy to accept any such offers of help and discuss the situation with breed rescues.”


Emma Osbourne of Cats Protection said that news of the cats’ imminent need for rehoming had prompted dozens of calls to the charity. “We will be taking on all of the cats from Friskies’ Kennett centre,” said Ms Osbourne. “Initially these will be housed at our East Anglia shelter for assessment, then they will be placed in several of our other shelters around the country. We are delighted that so many people have come forward to take on a ‘Friskies Cat’, and when they are due for rehoming, we will consider every application we receive. Obviously, every applicant is subject to our usual homecheck before we release a cat into their care.


“As it is my understanding that all the cats are non-pedigree, it is unlikely that we would be liaising with any cat breed rescue at this stage. We are obviously pleased at all offers of rehoming that we receive.”