We have seen an unfortunate number of cats with no apparent owner brought to the surgery recently by members of the public.
Lack of a microchip or any other means of identification usually results in the cats being passed over to the RSPCA for possible rehoming. Any immediate first aid that is required is administered to ensure that any individual is made as comfortable as possible.
Where the "stray" is deemed "fit and capable" it is often advised to return the cat to the area where it was located in the hope that it can find it's way home. It is often tempting when a suspected "stray" is spotted by concerned pet owners to offer food. Whilst it is only natural to provide food and security to an animal that you may suspect is lost, very few cats (or people for that matter) will turn down the offer of a free lunch! This may in turn delay or deflect that individual from it's journey home.
The biggest dilemma is encountered where an injured or diseased animal requires on-going and expensive treatments. Animal charities, like everyone else, have restricted budgets and difficult decisions have to be made as to the likelihood of any confirmed "strays" having a reasonable chance of being successfully re-homed once the treatment course has been completed.
Taking responsibility for these difficult decisions is not something most people would relish but we are extremely fortunate in the UK that we have organisations like the RSPCA who are prepared to make those decisions even if at times it is budget driven.
Most veterinary practices will absolve anyone else from responsibility by adopting a fair number of waifs and strays that appear on their doorstep and Fairfield is no exception. My veterinary colleague Aga is to be reunited with her recent adoption (Rudi) on her return from her honeymoon!