ANNAPOLIS VALLEY, NOVA SCOTIA – An Annapolis Valley animal shelter is taking a huge step in reducing and managing the feral cat population.
“We knew that we would have to create something to accommodate feral cats that had nowhere else to go,” said Kings SPCA president Daphne Moore-McKnight.
Two shelters are already in place on a partly-cleared piece of land which is located behind the Kings SPCA in Waterville.
It’s part of a plan to build a feral cat sanctuary.
‘Municipal funding rejected’ – Kings SPCA applied for funding from the municipality for the planned cat sanctuary but the application was rejected. So far, they’ve been relying completely on donations.
“We have been fortunate to receive some fair-sized donations to initially help us get the property cleared and afford us to get fencing in order to enclose the area,” said Moore-McKnight.
The fencing is not in place yet and the latest snowfall could push that back a bit.
Volunteer Louise Sweeney has already built four cat shelters herself.
The shelters are made from recycled pallets and Styrofoam and each come with their own feline-themed names like the Hotel Casablancat and the Meow Inn.
“What I can say is that I care and I know I’m making a difference,” said Sweeney, a self-proclaimed animal lover.
“I’ve always been an animal person. I’ve always had rescues, that’s all I do and I’ll help any way I can.”
Sweeney says she plans to build even more cat shelters for the sanctuary.
The SPCA is hoping to have the facility up and running in the spring or early summer of 2016.
At first they hope to take in about 30 feral cats and monitor how things are progressing before they add more.
“We need to do some fundraising and we need to organize a dedicated group of volunteers,” said Shelley Porter, community engagement officer for Kings SPCA.
“They will do monitoring and do feeding and essentially be the caregivers for this sanctuary.”
Spaying and neutering is an important and essential part of the feral cat program.
“When you think of two breeding cats and a female having up to two litters a year and those litters reproducing and then those litters reproducing, it’s significant,” said Moore-McKnight.
“All across the province, there are thousands of feral cats and semi-feral cats.”
Anyone who wants to learn more about this feral cat sanctuary can contact the Nova Scotia SPCA – Kings County Branch directly or any SPCA shelter in the province.