Animal charity president quits over dispute over welfare of her 18 pet cats
He accused the organization’s administrators of being “blind to the reputational impact of owning too many cats” and said his concern was shared by five other animal charities who were consulted.
Ms Upson took a defiant tone in a statement on Monday announcing her resignation as she denied there were any welfare issues with her cats.
She said: ‘I have today resigned my role as Chairman of the Trustees of Cats Protection and my role as a Trustee on the Board of Trustees because I passionately support Cats Protection and do not want the cover recent media is undermining the charity’s vital work helping cats in need.”
She added: “The welfare and welfare of cats has always been a primary concern to me and I have always ensured that my own cats and foster cats receive the best possible care.
“My cats are between 9 and 19 years old. I believe they are happy and healthy as each has their own feeding bowl, litter box and other resources. They are all vaccinated and taken regularly for veterinary consultation. I don’t have any foster cats either.
Several major corporate sponsors contacted Cats Protection last week to discuss the situation after it was reported in this newspaper.
There were fears that the companies would seek to activate clauses in their contracts allowing them to end sponsorship due to “public embarrassment”.
Senior staff had long been horrified by Ms Upson’s living situation and many felt “nervous about using her as a spokesperson for the charity”, according to Mr Darley.
Angela Swarbrick, Vice President of Cats Protection, said, “We would like to thank Linda for her dedication to our organization’s work on cat welfare over the past two decades.
“We realize this has been a difficult time for Linda, particularly following her decision to step down as Chair between mid-December 2021 and January 2022 to consider her position with the charity.
“Cats Protection takes governance seriously and our directors follow the Charities Governance Code. The charity undertakes regular reviews and has committed to an external review of its governance procedures and processes to ensure that we are confident in delivering the next 10 years of our strategy so that we can do the best for cats.