Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many pet owners and families who are struggling financially surrender their animals. While many strays are lost pets that were not kept indoors or provided with adequate identification, many are simply abandoned and expected to fend for themselves. This is especially true for cats.
To determine how many feral and abandoned domestic cats live in Cape Town is impossible. TEARS receive between five to 10 calls daily about cats or kittens that have been abandoned or are living ‘wild’ in car parks, factories, business parks and industrial sites without any food or adequate protection from the elements.
The TEARS Mobile Clinic, together with dedicated volunteers from the TEARS Feral Cat Project, enables the team to sterilise and vaccinate approximately 250 community and homeless cats every month. But this is only a fraction of the number of cats that are living desperate lives, forgotten and without hope.
Basic Veterinary Care Saves Lives
As a pro-Life animal rescue PBO, TEARS is one of a few animal welfare charities that practises a humane Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Programme as a solution for community cats. TEARS has been operating its Feral Cat Sterilisation Clinic on Wenga Farm since 2007, which is also home to our rescued cats.
The project includes the help of volunteers who monitor and feed roughly 500 community cats in the colonies that TEARS manage and thanks to the generous sponsorship of Catmor from the Do More Foundation.
The term ‘feral’ means that these types of cats are undomesticated and are generally afraid of people and will do their utmost to avoid human contact. Domesticated cats that have integrated with existing community cat colonies as a result of abandonment or abuse, succeed in diluting the feral gene pool, which makes these types of cats extremely shy and increases the potential for these cats to be socialised and rehomed.
These cats who are left to fend for themselves, are not sterilised or vaccinated, therefore the community of cat colonies can quickly increase in population and will ultimately either succumb to contagious and deadly diseases like Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (cat FIV), or from lack of food.
While law enforcement is mandated to collect healthy stray animals, residents who call to complain about a stray cat or cats in the area, are generally told to try and trap or confine the animal themselves. This is not an easy task, and in many instances, TEARS has been called too late to rescue cats that have been poisoned or shot by pellet guns. It’s unfortunate that people don’t appreciate the valuable service provided by community cats as they control the population of rodents and other vermin that carry disease and have the potential to damage property and contaminate food.
TEAR’s goal is to raise R500 000, which will change the lives of 1 000 community cats and kittens over the course of the next four months.
Your donation will help TEARS end the suffering of hundreds of kittens born to abandoned and feral cats this Christmas. Sterilisation and vaccination is a simple, essential and cost-effective solution that succeeds in ending the cycle of over-population, illness, starvation and suffering that so many community cats are trapped in.
Click here to Donate to help Community Cats today!
- R480 will cover the cost of ONE sterilisation and vaccination and allow TEARS to extend its Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Programme in the areas where it’s most needed.
- You can also purchase a bag of cat food to support TEARS Colony Caretakers in feeding homeless cats by clicking here.
As a recognised PBO, your donations to TEARS are tax-deductible. We issue tax certificates according to the rules of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act (PBO No.: 930 001 672).
Dischem’s Small Change makes a Big Difference
TEARS relies heavily on the “small change” donations it receives from the public through collection tins. Thanks to these donations, we receive up to R20 000 per month, which allows TEARS to continue its life-saving work in the low-income communities we serve. Thanks to Dischem, one of the largest and oldest retail pharmacy brands in South Africa, TEARS donation tins will be at Dischem till-points in all Western Cape outlets until the end of January 2022, and is the charity beneficiary for its in-store gift wrapping service throughout the Festive Season!
To support the TEARS Feed Hungry Pets Campaign, click here to donate: https://tears.org.za/product-category/donate/
Picture: Supplied / Pexels