Big boost for spay and neuter programme for stray cats

It’s a purrfect spot for these rescue cats (Photos contributed)
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The work of the Dogs and Cats of Antigua group which rescues and rehomes stray animals has been given a boost with the building of a brand new cattery by the Sandals Foundation. 

Since 2015, the foster-based charity has provided a safe space for 2,400 stray dogs and cats to be housed after being rescued, spayed, neutered and rehomed through adoptions locally and in North America.

Now, the team of animal advocates is one step closer to operating a fully-fledged clinic, following the construction of the US$6,000 fenced cattery, a Sandals Foundation release stated. 

The charity’s founder Joy Farrell said the facility will allow the team to implement a strategic spay and neuter programme across Antigua. 

“Last year, we spent a lot of time trapping and picking up cats to be spayed and neutered but we desperately needed a place to keep the cats before and after surgery,” she explained. “We had to abandon the process because there was no place for the cats to be secured.” 

The new cattery, Farrell says, “now gives us a safe space to secure the animals”.  

Heidi Clarke, executive director at the Sandals Foundation, said the philanthropic organisation was happy to assist. 

“A healthy community is also measured by the health and living condition of its animals. Cats and dogs have been traditionally held as pets for many families, but unfortunately there are many that are without a home.

“We were happy to help the amazing work being done by the team at Dogs and Cats of Antigua to rescue, care for and rehome our feline friends,” Clarke said. 

Sandals Grande Antigua’s General Manager Matthew Cornall recently toured the facility and was impressed with its progress. 

 “We are pleased to know that the assistance provided by the Sandals Foundation will significantly aid Dogs and Cats of Antigua in addressing the issue of these types of stray animals,” Cornall said.  

The animal clinic and foundation is operated solely on donations and boasts a strong network of supporters in the UK, the US and Canada.  

“We are very grateful to the Sandals Foundation for their financial assistance in building this cattery. The clinic and cattery is phase one of the development of our sanctuary. It’s only through a strategic and effective spay neuter programme that we can make a dent in Antigua’s stray population,” Farrell added. 

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