Unfortunately 2016 has not started too well, a supposedly sprained ankle turned into a fracture taking a good 6 weeks to get over, I was then plagued with a virus that took control and had me house bound for another 7-10 days keeping me away from the important collection of cats.
Struggling on crutches and not being able to drive had me calling in a few favours, thankfully friends happily obliged by trapping and driving the felines to our vets.
Our new program whereupon locals can trap and take cats to certain vets, for a much cheaper price then GCWS-Rhodes (finances available) pay the extra normally 10-30euros, appears to be working extremely well with over 48 extra cats being neutered in the past 8 weeks. Locals have been talking and making sure the message is getting out there to neuter, sadly we do still have the idiots who believe its better to dump either mum and kittens or just the kittens and almost inevitably in and around expat homes.
There has definitely been a marked difference, tourists who have been coming to Rhodes for many years notice how healthy cats are looking and compliment us on the work completed, however there is a long way to go and with the help of the vet teams coming in a few weeks time we shall be able to neuter in excess of 120 tipping us over the long awaited 2000.
March we also managed to foster and send 2 beautiful ginger boys to Glasgow after a delightful lady who visits Pefkos each year requested we find her a kitten needing a good home and in actual fact we sent her 2 photos of different fur balls, she couldn’t choose between them and kindly offered both forever homes.
Another 2 babies mentioned in the February newsletter were rescued from a restaurant after complaints about how thin the mother and kitten were. After visiting the owners who didn’t agree with us taking them but agreeing to take them back as soon as they were fit they allowed their removal.
Shockingly when they were examined, both were males and extremely emaciated, one had blood oozing from under his eye although no wound could be seen. After approximately 2 weeks to build up their strength they were both taken to a vet for neutering.
Sadly when Fluff the older male was shaved there were signs of pellets being embedded in his shoulder, one had penetrated under the eye where the blood had been previously.
Baby the smaller boy after being examined was tiny for his age and will take a while to develop being so thin and bony.
After neutering the boys were to be returned to the restaurant until a cat friend who lives close by, explained they should definitely NOT go back as the son of the owner was well known for shooting pellets at all animals and the family had already dumped a dog up in the hills to die.
Reading on many cat Facebook pages, some animal charities on other Greek islands have extraordinarily difficult circumstances with locals poisoning cats and dogs, along with dumping, tying or hanging dogs up from trees until dead instead of taking them to a vet for euthanisation.
Thankfully we see and hear rarely of any of these barbaric methods, coming across this situation with the cat having pellets in his shoulder was a sad case and I sincerely hope not to hear of it again.
The good news is, Fluff and Baby have now left for their forever homes in Germany.
Apart from those four beautiful boys fostered and new homes found, there have been call outs to at least 8 badly injured cats with broken legs, damaged spinal areas, skin ripped from torsos after being caught in car engines and general FIV ( Feline AIDS ) problems..
Presently in residence area a black male with a crushed back paw and 2 with serious eye problems, all hopefully being released in the next few weeks.
Taking care of these poor babies, fostering, drugs, medications, cat litter, food and biscuits all cost a great deal of money which means fund raising, our first event of the year once again took place at Lindos Reception.
With a plethora of tables selling all kinds of goodies from fresh eggs, handicrafts, fairy cakes, second hand clothes to homemade chutneys we managed to raise 256euros.
Weather wise it was a horrendous start to the day, cancelling was not an alternative as too many activities were taking place prior to the tourist season , it had to go ahead and what an amazing turn out we had. Thanks to locals, friends and regular supporters turning up in really rough weather, everyone made some money, others selling out completely, then the sun came out to pay its respects to those that braved the day. Well done everyone, thanks for participating.
Finally, from your friendly web designer. I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Easter, many of the supporters of GCWS Rhodes will have just celebrated although here in Rhodes Orthodox easter isn’t until Sunday May 1st. May it bring you all joy and lots and chocolate.