KAS: for the love of kitties

195

The journey begins…

Walking down the road on the outskirts of Kalimpong, a hill-station in West Bengal, I was shocked to see two small children playing recklessly with a kitten. I realized that the problem had to be addressed at the core – too many kittens and too little understanding. Fortunately, I received an offer from the Animal Protection Network based in Sweden to help fund a cat ABC at Kalimpong Animal Shelter (KAS), a unit of Help In Suffering and I readily accepted the offer.
Population explosion of kitties…
Kalimpong has a substantial number of free roaming cats including pet, community and feral cats. A female cat starts reproducing when they are 5-7 months old.
Spreading awareness…
Most of cat owners resist neutering of their pets as they believe that can have an adverse impact on her growth and behaviour and may even lead to her death. KAS addressed such issues by creating awareness about the subject. Infact, spaying a female cat not only prevents unwanted litters and eliminates heat periods but also eliminates the risk of life threatening pyometra (pus in the uterus). Additionally, it reduces the risk of mammary tumour (breast cancer). There are significant benefits of neutering (castrating) a male cat too. It has been observed that 90% of neutered cats decrease incidence of urine marking, fighting and roaming.
ABC programme for kitties…
KAS started an Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme for cats, along the lines of the successful ABC programme HIS conducts for controlling street dog population. The complete philosophy of spay/ neuter programme rests on ensuring that the animals are returned to their territory in a healthy condition after surgery. To abide by their principles, KAS built a cattery where they could house 18 cats, thus giving them the flexibility to sterilize nearly a hundred cats a month. To keep the cats engaged, they also provide suitable non-toxic items for their enrichment and play.
The mission gathers momentum…
From day one, the local community participated in the programme whole-heartedly. The volunteers help KAS to trap or catch the cats using specially designed traps.
Kitty adoption…
At KAS, kittens are sterilized, vaccinated against rabies and when they are more than three months old, they are transferred to adoption section. During this time, they are given substantial amount of human interaction/contact and socialization opportunities. Every kitten sterilized and re-homed by their shelter becomes an ambassador of the project which aims at alleviating pain and suffering for this lovely and intelligent being.
(Dr. Naveen Pandey is Vet in Charge of Kalimpong Animal Shelter. He can be contacted atnaveen@helpinsuffering.org or visit www.his-india.org.au)

https://www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com/
https://www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com/