February and March seem to have flown by and here we are preparing to start our Spring Trap-Neuter-Return program.
Sadly as of writing this report the Greek way of working where cogs rotate slowly, red tape and many public holidays have held vet Panagioti back from signing the contract for the new veterinary clinic. It has seriously back fired for us as it was meant to be our new work place making it a safe, clean environment for the vets and cats. Its quite amusing to think its been 6mths since everyone started looking for premises, close to 4mths since discussions with the lawyers began even though the property has been empty for 8yrs there is still no urgency to have tenants in paying rent????
Thankfully we have accommodation for the vets but now under extreme pressure to find somewhere to work! Stayed tuned…..
Kalithea which is an official cat feeding area close to Rhodes town, a life saver for many of the strays returning winter after winter when tourists have departed our shores, restaurants and hotels closed, slowly they make their way back and remain until the summer season re opens. Many of the cats are old hands at this, Sylvester is approx 10-11yrs which is old for the island, most cats are living longer between 4-6yrs of age out on the streets.
All the volunteers including myself have built and installed cat houses, rabbit hutches plus other types of sleeping areas, lots of donated blankets and cat boxes, the metal fenced enclosure has no roof which means they can all come and go as they please, roam the woods, walk to the beaches & Tavernas or just laze around in the sun..
GCWS-Rhodes and Kalithea work closely together making sure all cats are neutered and when sick or injured we raise extra funds to have them treated BUT as hardened as we are to seeing badly injured fur balls, it is horrific to find kittens/ cats having been attacked and mauled by starving dogs that had been dumped…
Over the years GCWS-Rhodes have been here on Rhodes there has been a massive and amazing turn around with cat numbers dwindling, their health & life expectancy markedly improved, however the dog situation even though there are 5 dog charities on the island, just appears to get worse every year.
Many ignorant Greeks regularly allow their dogs to roam the streets expecting them to return when they are hungry, perhaps their female dog becomes pregnant and they refuse to sterilise or their hunting dog is no longer of use, DUMP them!!!. Drive to the other end of the island, or up in the hills and DUMP them !!!!!! They have absolutely no concept of what their cuddly, well behaved pet will do when it becomes a pack animal, sadly cats and volunteers do, losing 9 cherished babies in 5 days…
Shaky who came from Rhodes to stay over winter .
Mum saved with her & 4 kittens 3 years before…
Trapping and neutering all new cats that arrive
Winter feeding upto 120 cats per day @ Kailthea.
Christos on his way to Germany
Timmy with best friend Christos
Last but not least another URGENT call to what was assumed would be a sick or injured cat, how wrong.. A baby goat ( kid ) abandoned by its mother 4 days previously, found by a devoted cat person who tried their very best to feed even taking it to a vet who unfortunately had no experience with goats, called begging for assistance to keep it alive. Dashing to Panagioti the only large animal vet on the island we kept baby as warm as possible, immediately on arrival he injected her with antibiotics, glucose plus fluid under the skin. Sadly he didn’t hold out much hope as she was extremely weak, not able to stand plus a debilitating infection that could possibly travel to her brain. Two days later although still very ill and under daily medication we were informed she was at least drinking milk, four days later after constant care HOPE as they named her was standing on her own…
Terrific news, she still needs medication, warmth and lots of TLC… More next newsletter…..
Poor sick baby goat
Hope now able to stand
Daily medication from the vet
June newsletter will be full of our Trap Neuter Return photos and stories, in the meantime we shall carry on collecting cats, sterilising on a small but continuous basis keeping the numbers of strays to an acceptable level.. Many thanks to those of you who fund raise or donate to GCWS-Rhodes..
Please don’t dismiss this way of helping raise funds, next time you look for a holiday, new clothes, insurance, gifts, flowers or just grocery shopping, thousands of companies to choose from .Click this link