A WORCESTER animal charity has issued an urgent appeal for help to rehome cats after three kittens were allegedly found in a bin.

The Worcester and Mid-Worcestershire branch of the RSPCA describes the situation as 'dire' and has now been forced to turn cats away .

Currently the branch has 27 cats in 20 cat pens at its private cattery, and is doubling up wherever possible.

There are seven cats at vets waiting to come in and cat rehoming co-ordinator Pam Booker is fostering six at her house. Many more are on a waiting list to come in, but there is no space.

Geraldine Haynes, branch trustee, said: "We have a major problem with cats at the moment. It's a dire situation and Pam had to turn one away this week, which is awful and doesn't happen very often, thank goodness.

"One of the kittens, Elsie, was taken into vets in Upton-upon-Severn after she and her two siblings were allegedly found in a rubbish bin near the river by a dog walker.

"The dog would not come away from the bin and when the dog's owner went to fetch the dog away the three kittens were discovered. Two of the kittens have now been adopted, but Elsie is looking for a loving home. She is 10 weeks old, very nervous to begin with but getting better now."

Murr was another new-born kitten found hiding behind a dustbin with his mother and two siblings in terrible cold, wet weather. Two of the babies were lifeless and hopes of them surviving were very slim. Against all the odds, with veterinary treatment and lots of TLC, they pulled through.

Murr is about 14 weeks old now, black and white and full of fun. He is described as a real character and would love to find a forever home.

Murr's mum, Caramel, is also available for adoption. She is an Old English Tortie, about five years old, who was found behind the dustbins with an injured shoulder.

Mrs Haynes said: "Caramel was a very anxious cat when she first came to us after her ordeal. She is now a very sweet relaxed lady who seems to have a lot to say!"

If you could rehome a cat or kitten, please phone Pam on 01905 841354, Geraldine on 01886 822083 or visit the branch website at http://www.rspca-worcester.co.uk/.