As 2015 comes to a close, sadly we didn’t quite hit our target of 2000 cats. But we start November with 1777.The October TNR team were as per usual fantastic, pulling together when the Vet Nurse was not available at the last minute. Our new antipodean vet Rebecca, out on her first trip, did exceptionally well neutering between 27 and 29 cats per day. SUPER!
Saffron and Katie, both regulars, jumped in to replace the VN. Laura organised the paperwork for cats in – cats out. The hero of the week Seb, Katies new husband, who did an amazing job trapping and returning our furry feline friends.
Another assisting with a permanent smile on her face was Rachel Dutton who volunteered whilst here on holiday, she fitted in amazingly well doing a great job helping everyone. Hopefully she will join us again next year.
This TNR program was executed in 2 new areas Kiotari and Gennadi both villages South of the island. Although the first couple of days were spent in Asklipio for a general tidy up. Altogether 178 cats were trapped, neutered and returned.
GCWS-Rhodes in the past 3 years have had approx 10 team visits and it was assumed that most of the island would have knowledge of our program but repeatedly the trappers came across particular people who angrily and wrongly thought we were culling and desperately tried to chase the cats away.
Locals who understood why we were there explained, thankfully leaving the trappers alone to do their job.
Gennadi unfortunately was overrun with young kittens and a decision had to be made between us, if any trapped between 8 and10 weeks should be neutered? Normally that would be too young here, however if we had ignored them within a couple of months the females would be pregnant destroying all our hard work. All kittens neutered were monitored and stayed longer than usual. They were given plenty of food, antibiotics, vitamins and very happy to report every one of them left us in excellent condition. A Job well done.
Without fail during the TNR programs we always seem to have emergencies, this time was no different. The first was a call from locals regarding a cat that somehow had survived an accident but with internal injuries sadly she did not survive the anaesthetic.
Another emergency, a well known cat (Kitler) living in Pefkos, loved by tourists and locals alike, had a dreadful respiratory problem and needed a great deal of TLC. After spending a few nights in the bedroom of Katie and Seb he then came back with me to finish his course of medication, the extra six days in the warmth being fed twice a day worked wonders,
Happily he is now back at his old stomping grounds with Yanni our Pied Piper of Pefkos watching over him.
On the teams last day another call came in regarding a car/cat accident. The poor male was badly injured and was carried to a small corner of a building where sadly he was euthanised.
These occurrences are normal throughout the year and obviously financially very draining especially as this year over 60 emails, messages and phone calls regarding sick and injured cats were received.
It is extremely frustrating and depressing not having enough people on the island to work with GCWS-Rhodes plus finances to assist these poor creatures.The money received from GCWS-UK and donations which are desperately required for purchasing our drugs, medications and other items for the TNR programs do not and will never cover vet bills for emergencies.
Once our teams had left another foreign cat charity, Flying Cats of Germany sent over another vet and nurse to neuter stray cats and dogs. These teams inevitably work in the Rhodes town council clinic, magnificently fitted out with everything required for sterilising, however appointments and delivery times are allotted making it a little more difficult living so far away. They kindly invited us to trap and deliver10 x cats which in one quick hour were nabbed in Kremasti, along with another 6 x in Haraki taking our total to 1793.
During this summer season, we have received some larger than normal donations from tourists that have requested particular cats to be sterilised. Two generous, kind German ladies Simone and Christina actually drove to Lindos searching for someone involved with GCWS-Rhodes, they were informed in actual fact we were holding a table top in Asklipio 40 minutes in the opposite direction. They found us and offered to pay for a female and 6 siblings at a hotel in Lardos, having never visited this particular hotel there was no idea if management were friendly towards cats or would drive them away. Our fears were unfounded with the cat loving owner offering to open a safe feeding area in the spacious grounds opposite the beach.
With this in mind we now have over a dozen cat friendly hotels with feeding areas, a new page on our website, Cat Friendly Accommodation, is now dedicated to hotels, apartments and accommodation, including contact details here on the island.
Tourists will have departed the island by December and trapping made a great deal easier, finances allowing more neutering will proceed using the local vets hopefully boosting our numbers ready for the April team hitting the magic 2000!
There is a possibly once more working in a totally new area on the west side of the island nearly 1.5hrs away. It could be a huge logistical challenge and will need all hands on deck plus far more transport vehicles. Optimistically, there is huge potential with large cat colonies and with time to consider all aspects of the program, where we will work, accommodation, transport perhaps even join forces with another charity based in that area could all work in our favour. Update in our February newsletter.
Last month a short email was sent to many of our UK friends and supporters explaining how easyfundraising works and why we receive donations made quarterly from any purchases our supporters make.
With Christmas so close, gifts required, general shopping , holidays and many other online purchasing items GCWS-Rhodes can only benefit.
Last quarter we received £99.95 which equates to 3 cats neutered or 6 20kilo bags of biscuits. Thank you.
If you did not receive this email, click on the link and register for free. https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/greekcatswelfaresociety/
Writing of finances and donations, we will be holding our annual auction with bids only to be placed on our Facebook page, starting November 29th
Unfortunately none of those lovely prizes can be posted overseas, however they may be collected on the island or utilised whilst visiting Rhodes by locals or tourists alike. ( Happy bidding)
Before this 2015 newsletter comes to an end, THANKS must go to wonderful supporters Dawn Ball, Sharon Maiden and Caroline Amber who sent us some beautiful products to sell or use with cats in mind.
Amazing donations received although under sad circumstances from Amanda Inwood, in memory of a darling kitten named Lola and Mr Clarke in memory of his son. Bless you ALL.
And a little extra from your friendly web designer. Merry Christmas all.