By Stephanie Drummond
Feb. 18, 2014
Once a month Paula Mconnoll jumps into a rented car and distributes homemade catnip mice toys to vet clinics around the Island, from Summerside to Souris.
She decided to join the Cat Action Team because a friend pushed her to join. The team cares for feral cats and spays or neuters the cats. Feral cats are barn cats, which have no owner. These wild cats live in colonies across the Island outdoors.
The group is always looking for volunteers. They need volunteers to feed colonies of stray cats, to store food and keep cats while they are recovering from spaying or neutering.
“We’re getting up there in age, we need some younger people,” Mconnoll said.
Many of the volunteers are around 60, and some new blood is needed, Mconnoll said.
The group receives donations from the Donna Hickox Feed the Ferals program. Hickox was a volunteer, and when she died she left money for food. The donation is a big help but it’s not enough.
The Cat Action Team decided to start taking donations six months ago. Christmas time was a big help for donations, but with the New Year, donations are all but diminishing.
Kathy Williams has decided to be a donation drop off for the Summerside area and she said some of the colonies are desperate.
“You have some people before Christmas who decided instead of giving each other presents, they are going to donate a big bag of cat food. But after Christmas is a hard time on people. The donations haven’t been as good as they were a month ago.”
Williams decided to put a post on Facebook and the results have been good. Some have even responded, wondering where they can volunteer, Williams said.
“Charlottetown needs the help. They have a lot of colonies and not too many to go out and feed them.”
A lot of Islanders do not know about the Cat Action Team and that may stop some from being able to volunteer, Williams said.
“The Humane Society, they’re very vocal, and everyone knows about them, some people do not know about CAT. We need to get our message out there.”
Mconnoll said there are over 20 colonies in the Charlottetown area, and the demand for the Cat Action Team to take more is over demanding, she said.
“People call and say it’s their pet, and then two seconds later it’s a stray.”
Williams encouraged anyone with anything they can donate to do so.
“It can be half a bag, wet or dry, anything counts.”
Mconnoll is getting ready to put together one of the team’s annual baskets. They have multiple basket draws throughout the year to help pay for food, and also towards the spaying of the cats.
“There is a 50-50 draw, and two other prize, a bag of 15 kg cat food, a gift certificate for a vet clinic and pet products.”
In May, Mconnoll will be outside of retailers selling tickets.