We finished our sterilisation campaign for cats in the concelhos of Loule and Albufeira on Thursday 14th April, late afternoon. It has been an interesting experience to say the least, with many emotions: stress, sadness, disappointment, frustration, kindness, happiness, joy, laughter and fulfilment.
A heartfelt and truly grateful thank you to SPCA-I New York for their USD 5000 grant and another €5000 grant from an organisation in the UK, plus and a private anonymous donator who, after reading the Algarve Resident, donated €5000 towards our spayathon!
In total 296 cats were brought in, 293 were sterilised by our international team of Vets from Russia, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain. Of these 293 cats, 82 were pregnant and carried 385 kittens! We did in total only 15 owned cats. So 278 cats were colony / street cats, now taken out of the reproduction cycle and no longer at risk of becoming pregnant or being able to impregnate cats! We had 295 cats come in, but 2 were already sterilised and did not have an earclip and one was in such terrible state, the kindest thing to do was to set it free..
Unfortunately, we had some cats with issues arrive: one cat came in with a broken jaw, another cat came in with a huge gaping hole in the throat, another cat arrived with many wounds indicating fighting, a cat arrived with a terrible pyometra, 2 cats had an allergic reaction to the anasthesia, one cat died at home suspected of hemorrhaging and we put one cat to sleep due to its terrible physical condition. Life on the street for cats is hard, diseases and cat flu are prevalent, but it is extremely hard to provide these animals with medical care they often need.We sterilised 65 cats from AGA as well, they look after so many cats, and find so many cats in colonies which are not sterilised, we happily offered them help!
Additionally to the Spayathon during a short 5 days we allocated emergency funds to sterilise pregnant cats in a desperate attempt to reduce the number of unwanted kittens amongst 4 vet clinics in the Algarve. In these 5 days we sterilised another 72 pregnant cats preventing the birth of another 249 kittens. So in total in March & April we sterilised 154 pregnant female cats and prevented 634 kittens being born into a world where they were not wanted.
During the spayathon 5 female cats in one colony of 35 cats gave birth. 1 mum had 4 kittens, mum nr 2 had 5 kittens, mum nr 3 had 7 kittens, mum nr 4 had 4 kittens, but a male cat in the colony killed these, and mum nr 5 had 2 kittens. Sterilise Our Strays is helping the lady with the rehoming of these originally 18 kittens, but one unfortunately died at the vet clinic as a result of the catflu. So 17 sweet little souls are looking for a home soon!
On 11 April we were supposed to sterilise 21 owned cats, but unfortunately only 7 cats were brought in, most of the other owners just could not be bothered to show up.
We contacted local associations and shelters and offered help with the sterilisation of their dogs! ARA in Loule happily accepted the offer of help and brought in 7 dogs and 5 cats! We sterilised 2 dogs currently available for rehoming from the Centro Bem Estar Animal in Albufeira. And we helped 6 dogs from the Tiny Shelter in Albufeira with the castration/sterilisation procedures. And we helped 6 owners to have their dogs neutered as well. So 21 dogs were helped as well.
We would like to take this opportunity and truly thank our donators who made this event possible. Without your financial support this would not have been possible!
A whopping 314 animals taken out of the reproduction cycle, who will never add to the huge current problem of unwanted animals! We don’t have the invoices yet, but we spent well over €15,000 to help these animals to a healthier and better quality of life, for us it has been money very well spent!
Our international vet we have worked with since 2014 is Dr. Anna Essipova, she is Granada, Spain based and is specialised in sterilisations and castrations only. She trains vets from all over the world, and has now 3 operating sterilisation only clinics for cats and dogs. It is all she does, originally started in Granada, she now has clinics in Toledo, Murcia, and is opening a new one in Merida. http://granavet.es/ They sterilise on average 150 animals per week…
I can only dream of these numbers... wish I could do the same in Portugal…open a sterilisation clinic only!
Thank you all once again!
Ginie de Weerd
President SOS Sterilise Our Strays