New lives for abandoned cats
Javea town hall backs new charity
By Jack Troughton CATLAND Javea is a new charity aimed at tackling the problem of abandoned cats in the town, reducing feline colonies and rescuing kittens born on the streets of the resort.
The town hall is supporting the fully legal project and has granted the association 3,000m2 of public land in the Ramblars, on the outskirts of the town, to build a shelter.
The council, which has been involved since the beginning of the project, is able to make the land available under a four-year rolling contract to a scheme seen as benefiting residents.
And plans for the refuge are advanced and now need the approval of the town architect before construction can begin.
Catland’s president Claire Wall said Mayor Jose Chulvi and Councillor Doris Courcelles had been “amazing” in backing the association.
She said: “The town hall cannot give land away willy- nilly; only when it is of benefit to the town and the community. This refuge will benefit the cats and also the town; taking away a problem for the people of the town.
“People are fed up with large colonies of cats but there is nowhere in Javea to take abandoned cats to.”
Claire added: “Not all cats are suitable for the refuge; actual feral cats are not suitable, they have their own habitats and keep down rats and vermin. Abandoned “This is for domestic cats which join the colonies; abandoned cats and kittens – it would be cruel to put wild cats, into a refuge.”
She said Catland was working closely with the Javea Feral Cat Association and the town’s animal charity APASA.
Claire said the charity would vet cats before they were taken in to the refuge; they would be given a health check and neutered; while the licence from the Zoological department of Valencia would allow animals to be adopted.
She said authorities had approved the design of pens for the cats; there will be 10 pens measuring 6m by 6m and 2.5m high and have little houses on different heights and climbing frames, surrounding a central area. Catland will be home to up to 150 cats.
“Cats will have the freedom of the central garden area during the day; it will be covered by a special mesh so there’s no escape for them.”
Portacabins will provide office, storage, preparation area for food, and a clinic; the refuge will be powered with a generator and solar panels.
Fund raising started months ago and there is enough in the account to start the build but Claire and her team will continue to host fund raising events and the website www.catlandjavea.com has pages to allow people to make donations.
Like all charities, Catland needs public support. “Everyone has said ‘we need a cat refuge’ in the town but no one seems to be donating yet; although next year we will qualify for grants from Valencia.”
She thanked supermarket Iceland for its support and Desmond’s Secondhand Shop for donating office furniture.
Claire (right) and friends fund raising at Iceland