Porirua cou­ple tack­ling wild Levin cats

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

‘‘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 out­pawed@gmail.com

PHOTO: VIKKI SKIN­NER

This kit­ten was taken in by Out­pawed after her mother got mas­ti­tis and was un­able to feed them.

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