Women give stray cats a chance

Franklin County News - - News - By JULIE KAIO

Two Waiuku women are do­ing their bit to im­prove the lives of stray cats scav­eng­ing in colonies in Waiuku.

Sharon Browne and Zoe Swann are so con­cerned about the num­bers of hun­gry and ne­glected cats in the town, they have taken it upon them­selves to feed, nur­ture, and re-home the home­less mog­gies.

Both are dig­ging into their own pock­ets to fund the feeds and ven­ture out af­ter hours to make sure the for­got­ten strays are nour­ished enough to make it through the night.

Their cru­sade be­gan af­ter both no­ticed hun­gry cats for­ag­ing for scraps be­hind the old New World su­per­mar­ket.

‘‘I couldn’t stand see­ing them in that con­di­tion so I started feed­ing them,’’ says Michelle. ‘‘They looked so sad, so unloved. Peo­ple have just dumped them – they ex­ist on so much less than ba­sic needs and com­fort – they don’t know where their next meal is com­ing from.’’

That’s when she met Zoe, also dis­turbed by the colony’s plight, and feed­ing the cats.

To­gether the women visit the New World colony, and oth­ers scat­tered through­out the town, most days. They are be­com­ing fa­mil­iar and friendly faces to the timid cats, with the goal of trap­ping them to take to vets or SPCA for de­sex­ing and ul­ti­mately, adop­tion.

Cats and kit­tens trapped that are too mal­nour­ished for im­me­di­ate treat­ment are nursed back to health at ei­ther Zoe’s or Michelle’s home.

Cur­rently Zoe is tend­ing to a tiny kit­ten she has named Char­lotte.

But it is not just the colony cats the pair are work­ing to save. They also pro­vide sup­port to res­i­dents who have cats they can’t care for.

With the help of Franklin Vets in Waiuku, Zoe and Michelle can pro­vide ad­vice on re­hom­ing op­tions, health and care, and de­sex­ing.

‘‘ We want peo­ple to know there are so many more op­tions out there rather than just dump­ing their cats or kit­tens,’’ says Michelle.Zoe and Michelle wel­come do­na­tions of food and vol­un­teers to help them dur­ing feeds. Do­na­tions can be dropped off at Franklin Vets, Waiuku, and those keen to vol­un­teer can call the vets on 235 9101.

RES­CUED: Char­lotte, a new­born kit­ten, has been res­cued from a stray cat colony in Waiuku and is be­ing nursed back to health by Zoe Swann.

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