Dogs walk to save cats

Nola Snyder
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Participants in the dog walk event showed up with their canine friends. Nola Snyder Photo

Special to the Nor’Wester

That’s right folks, dogs came out to walk on Sunday to help out their feline friends. Who would have thought? When asked how they felt about it, however, the dogs had no comment.

All kidding aside, people are facing a cat epidemic in the Springdale area. There has been a steady increase in the number of abandoned cats in dumps, barns, abandoned buildings and right in the community.  There is a rise in the number of feral cat colonies all throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and Springdale is no exception. A feral cat is a free roaming cat that has never had any human contact.

Central Paws, a small volunteer organization which operates mainly on donations and fundraisers is concentrating their efforts on the severe problem of overpopulation of cats and feral cat colonies, low cost spay/neuter programs and education.  President of the organization Judy Hunter along with one member, Susan Hamilton held a dog walk-a-thon fundraiser in Springdale on Sunday not only to raise funds for the program but to create awareness of the problem. The fundraiser brought a large showing of support with 13 participants and 16 dogs walking. Pledge sheets combined with donations brought in $996.50 as of Sunday night.

Judy Hamilton, one of the volunteers who helped organize this fundraiser took a few moments to speak with me and she expressed her concerns with the homeless cat population and the need for spaying and neutering and how important it is to bring awareness to the public. Judy plans to continue her volunteer work to support the efforts of Central Paws. She has formed a committee with 2 other volunteers, Helen Downey and Sharon Dove and is urging new members to help with upcoming projects and fundraisers.  In closing she said “everyone should have a heart and be a voice for the animals”.

The money will be instrumental in getting a program in place for the Springdale area.  There is a high cost involved with the capturing, housing and recovery,  food, veterinary costs for shots and spaying/neutering. To put into perspective the difference a successful spay/neuter program can spaying and neutering just 1 male and 1 female, more than 2000 unwanted births can be prevented in just 4 years and more than 2 million in 8 years. These stats based on a simple growth chart which begins in Year 1 with 1 unspayed female, her mate and her offspring, producing 2 litters per year with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter.  

Central Paws needs your help to combat this problem and create awareness and there are many ways in which you can help. Spay/neuter your pets, become a member or volunteer, donate supplies such as cat food and materials to build shelters, help build cat shelters, become a feral cat foster care provider or donate space to put cats up for recovery. If you are interested in helping out in any way log onto the Central Paws website  or call 486-2495.

Geographic location: Springdale, Newfoundland and Labrador

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