The ripple effects of Covid 19 for animal rescues

The ripple effects of Covid 19 are far-reaching and in many unimaginable areas. In March 2020, Veterinary offices all over New Zealand closed their doors to non-essential care, sadly De-sexing did not make that list. Especially hard-hit were the rescue organisations, whose work depends on spey and neuter programs to keep the homeless cat populations to a minimum and to allow us to find homes for those animals lucky enough to be ready to find their forever homes. Also impacted were the pet stores and other venues where rescues sometimes hold adoption events. The general public also faced the same problem. Sadly, many people faced with a cat they were unable to spey later dumped the cat. We have taken in an alarming number of friendly and very pregnant cats this year. Cats have turned up in backyards, in skip bins, behind restaurants, at shopping centres, and construction sites.

Luckily after lockdown things improved somewhat, as vet offices were doing spey and neuters for the public and rescues. But the backlog was quite significant. It also took a long time before rescues could fundraise again in public (sausage sizzles, collection day, etc) and yet again we are faced with having to cancel these events, which normally would help fund our ever-increasing vet bills.

What this means to Forgotten Felines and other rescues: Our efforts to control the homeless cat populations in all areas have been set back at least 5-10 years. There are many kittens being born each month to mothers that have to hunt for food, either in fields or skip bins. We are working hard to play catch up, but the work is very slow.

Forgotten Felines gets multiple calls for help each day, we always answer every plea, either with hands-on help or suggestions for where they might find help if we cannot help them or liaise with other rescues to get the help needed. Calls include needing help with injured cats and kittens, litters of kittens being born in parking lots, in rural areas, and construction sites. Our resources are somewhat limited, but we do our best.

In this still challenging time, Forgotten Felines needs your help now, more than ever before. We have been very fortunate in finding good homes for many of our tame mother cats, kittens, and adults we have taken in this year. But some still need homes.

But the greatest need for Forgotten Felines is more fosters for mom cats and kittens, as well your generous donations. Medical bills, even for routine speys and neuters, are ever-increasing. So many of the cats that have come into our care need more than the usual de-sexing, because there are so many that need our help, our finances are being challenged each day.

The volunteers of Forgotten Felines will continue doing the work to which each of our members is dedicated. Because of your donation, we will be able to help many more cats and kittens.