Porirua couple tackling wild Levin cats
‘‘Councils don't want to know and other rescues normally euthanise them but they deserve to live.’’
Dawn the stray cat has probably given birth to about 120 kittens.
With 30 or 40 litters of wild babies behind her, the 10-year-old cat is nursing four new kittens, but they will be her last.
Porirua woman Vikki Skinner has vowed to trap, de-sex and release or re-home the 30 other cats that remain in the Levin colony Dawn came from.
There was a ‘‘gaping hole’’ in rescue organisations when it came to ‘‘hissy, spitty cats’’.
‘‘Councils don’t want to know and other rescues normally euthanise them, but they deserve to live,’’ she said.
Trap, neuter and release [TNR] is a system where wild cats are trapped, desexed and put back into the area they come from where a caregiver feeds and monitors their health.
People either love it or hate it but it worked, Skinner said.
‘‘It means that within one generation they will be gone and they don’t have to die.’’
Nine months ago Skinner and partner Hamish Martin started Outpawed Trust to care for the cats nobody else wanted.
‘‘We’ve desexed about 130 cats so far and they’re still coming.
‘‘I did think we would have more volunteers and help by now, but they say the first year is the hardest - I hope so.’’
Taking on the Levin Colony - and a smaller one in Foxton - stretched already thin resources for the pair, but they were determined to help.
‘‘They have a caregiver who wants to keep feeding and monitoring them. Just because they’re not cuddly pets doesn’t mean they’re not loved.’’
Wellington SPCA spokesman Nicholas Taylor said the organisation did not step in unless there was a welfare issue with ‘‘community cats’’.
Wellington SPCA had no targeted TNR programme but might support people with semiowned animals, he said.
Horowhenua District Council spokeswoman Vai Miller said the council had a limited number of cat cages for the public to use, but they did not assist with rehoming feral or unwanted stray cats.
Anyone wanting to donate to Outpawed can contact Vikki on 021 644 538 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This kitten was taken in by Outpawed after her mother got mastitis and was unable to feed them.