Neighborhood Cat Watch
As the winter approaches, stray and feral cats have to contend with one more challenge: finding shelter from the wind and the freezing temperatures. In any event, in any season the life of stray cats is pretty miserable. They have to find food, most often in urban surroundings, where their natural preys such as mice and birds are scarce. Furthermore they are constantly in danger to be run over by cars, to be attacked by dogs and people often victimize them. Stray and feral cats tend to have a very short life, but since for the most part, they are un-spayed and un-neutered, their miseries perpetuate exponentially.
Often compassionate people who become aware of the presence of stray or feral cats in their neighborhood take the endeavor to regularly feed these cats. However in the majority of the cases they fail to take the next important step: to spay and neuter them to stop the chain of suffering. Most of the people involved in feeding these cat "colonies", usually remove from the streets the litters of kittens, often adopting them out or bringing them to a local shelter, but they leave behind the un-spayed mother cat, litter after litter.
While it is certainly commendable to take care of the stray kittens, the most important thing is to prevent new litters to be born by spaying immediately the mother cat and ultimately sterilizing all the adult cats of a "colony" Surprisingly enough, most of the best intentioned people do not think about that.
We receive daily calls from people who find litters of kittens in backyards, tool-sheds, garages etc. They tell us to have removed a few before, but now they just do not have any more space or they do not know anyone to give the kittens to. We want and we can help to solve these situations permanently as long as the public is prepared to co-operate.
For this purpose we are launching now, in the month of October a "neighborhood cat watch" program that is designed to solve the problem of stray and feral cats living in the Greater Toronto Area. The success of this program will depend entirely on the support of the public. The objective is to limit new births between the stray and feral cat population and to find homes for most of these cats or at least to improve their living conditions.
What is a "Neighborhood Cat Watch" and how does it work
Similarly to the popular and successful "Neighborhood Watch", where you become acquainted with the people who live in your neighborhood and you report any suspicious intruder, with the "neighborhood Cat watch" you become acquainted with any cat roaming the street you are living in and you keep an eye open for any stray or abandoned cat. People involved in this program will take charge to spay or neuter these strays and to either release them back in the streets, if feral and untamable, or to adopt them out The funds will be raised by the people living in the same street or in any case in the same neighborhood. We will provide guidance for the picking up or proper trapping of these cats, we will arrange to have the sterilization performed at discounted rates, we will provide help in prospecting for foster and permanent adoptive homes and for fundraising.
What is the purpose of it?
To significantly reduce the number of stray cats and kittens in the GTA. Ideally, if this program was embraced by every Torontonian, we could remove from the street and give a good life to any stray and feral cat and all cat rescue groups, like ours, could happily close their doors.
How can I get involved?
The first thing to do is to keep an eye open for any stray cat or cats in your street or more generally in your area and to talk to your neighbors about working together to "rescue" those cats. You can contact us either by phone or e-mail for more detailed information. You can also help by offering to temporary foster a cat or by "rescuing cats" in other neighborhoods.
What we need?
We need the desire and commitment to change the life of thousands of poor cats that battle every day for food and shelter. Practically, we need volunteers and funds.
Volunteers are needed to receive calls, to provide the necessary information and support. As per the funds required, the money collected in a neighborhood will be exclusively used for the cats of that neighborhood and only the remaining portion will be allocated to help cats from other neighborhoods.
Do you wish to help ?
I wish to make a tax deductible donation to support the "Neighborood Cat Watch".
I wish to volunteer in this program.