02/18/2013 11:22 EST

Burquitlam Cat Petition Aimed At Letting Seniors Keep Companions

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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Billie Joe, a ginger kitten found abandoned earlier today with burnt whiskers and a cut mouth, is looked after at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home on December 27, 2012 in London, England. The home was founded 150 years ago and has rescued, reunited and rehomed over three million dogs and cats. The average stay for a dog is just 28 days although some stay much longer. Around 550 dogs and 200 cats are provided refuge by Battersea at any given time. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

A petition with almost 2,500 signatures is calling on a Coquitlam seniors home to let residents keep their cats.

The document, titled "Stop the removal of companion cats at Burquitlam Lions Care Home HELP," states that cats have been permitted at the facility for 12 years but that the administration has decided to remove the felines, many of which have lived there since they were kittens.

The petition argues management is not listening to residents or advocates who are in favour of keeping the cats.

Resident Phyllis Anderson told CTV her cat Smokey provides her with company and comfort.

The cat is one of five live-in animals that came to the home as part of a pet therapy program that began in the 1990's, according to the network.

A letter sent by the care home's board said that the cats are old, that fecal matter has been found around the facility and that some staff and residents are allergic to the animals.

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