Al­ley cats are in need of an ally

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

Cats – they’re hot stuff on the in­ter­net. Cute kitty capers abound on-line, but when it comes to life in the real world, life for stray city cats is not so ap­peal­ing.

An­i­mal ad­vo­cate Jenny Doyle is only too aware of the city’s stray cat prob­lem.

Tired of hear­ing about cats be­ing cru­elly treated, aban­doned and ne­glected, Jenny wants some­thing done about the on­go­ing prob­lem. She has, us­ing her own money and do­na­tions, trapped and had neutered eight cats in the last month, be­fore re­leas­ing them.

‘‘I have a cat in the crate as we speak,’’ Jenny says. ‘‘Four of them were girls, fully preg­nant. I feel quite pleased I have stopped them in their tracks.’’

It’s kit­ten sea­son, and the stray pop­u­la­tion is full of mother cats ‘‘ready to drop’’. It means a whole new gen­er­a­tion of furry prob­lems is about to come on stream

Jenny al­ready has her own cats, and doesn’t want to take in any more. Cost is also part of the prob­lem with de­sex­ing as much as $136 per cat from some vets.

Now with two traps and co­op­er­a­tion from a cou­ple of city vets who are of­fer­ing her spe­cial prices for de­sex­ing and neu­ter­ing, she says the trap neuter and re­lease of healthy an­i­mals is the most sus­tain­able op­tion.

‘‘Peo­ple out there will al­ways feed them, so if there was a well or­gan­ised col­lec­tive of peo­ple, and with some fund­ing com­ing in from the pub­lic, I re­ally be­lieve it is pos­si­ble to get on top of the prob­lem by ei­ther hav­ing these an­i­mals de­sexed or eu­thanased where needed.’’

Her idea is to bring to­gether a group of peo­ple to clean up the city and have enough money to en­sure the de­sex­ing is done in any ar­eas where strays ac­cu­mu­late.

‘‘It is ur­gent be­cause it doesn’t make sense to let them con­tin­u­ally breed. Stop­ping the kit­tens born to the streets and re­hom­ing any that can be caught, is the most hu­mane and ef­fec­tive thing to do’’

To ac­com­plish this, she has set a loose col­lec­tive called The Al­ley Cat Brigade and can be con­tacted by any­one who wants to help by email enk@xtra.co.nz or on 356 1565. .

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

City peo­ple are kind-hearted enough to feed stray cats, but lo­cal an­i­mal ad­vo­cate, Jenny Doyle says the prob­lem needs a more sus­tain­able so­lu­tion.

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