CatSpan victim of its own success

The feral cat rescue group has run out of money and they’re right in the midst of trying to finish neutering a colony of 100 feral cats.

Feral cats may be cute

Feral cats may be cute

CatSpan is broke.

The feral cat rescue group has run out of money and they’re right in the midst of trying to finish neutering a colony of 100 feral cats.

Organizer Jennifer Coleman said her volunteer group, which neuters, provides medical care and food for these cats, was able to raise more money than ever this year, but neutering 122 cats so far this year has drained their resources dry, and they still have 26 more cats on the waiting list.

The problem, she said, is that the group has become a victim of its own success.

“CatSpan gets better known each year and with that comes more requests for help from people who are feeding feral cats,” she said. “The need to neuter your pet has caught on with most people it seems, and trap/neuter/return (TNR), is the only humane way to stop the proliferation and suffering of these cats.”

She estimated that about 80 per cent of cats owned in North America are now neutered. However, the majority of kittens arriving at shelters either are or will become feral.

“If we don’t stop the breeding cycle of these feral cats, their rescued and tamed kittens will add to the continuing overpopulation of cats,” she said. “Some groups think that these kittens are already the main source of kittens arriving at shelters, so stopping the breeding cycle is crucial.”

CatSpan, she said, needs the public’s ongoing help.

“Cats can have up to four litters of about six kittens a year,” she said. “They will breed more often when fed, and their kittens will have a better chance of surviving, and moving on to form new colonies, and find new food sources, when the people who feed them can no longer afford to feed the newcomers.”

The people who feed these cats have absolutely no interest in having them killed, she said, because they love them.

“Many of the caretakers have limited incomes and can only afford to feed their colonies as long as the colony does not grow,” she said.

Oceanside residents can help CatSpan in several ways. Money is urgently needed and if you go the their website at www.nanoosecatspan.petfinder.com you can donate online through CanadaHelps.org or send a donation to CatSpan, Box 64, Nanoose Bay, BC V9P 9J9.

You can also contact them via their email address on their website, if you would like to help, as volunteers are urgently needed.

Food is also always needed as well, she added, and it can be purchased and donated to CatSpan at Petsville, located across from Tim Horton’s in Parksville, Bosleys in Parksville, Petmania in Errington, Buckerfields in Parksville and Qualicum Cat Rescue in Qualicum Beach.