If we were to ask for help with cuddling puppies and kittens in our shelter (which we haven’t got), we would be inundated with replies — but what we do need is help with the unglamorous side of rescue.
As well as rehoming abandoned animals, our main aim is to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs by encouraging owners to neuter their animals. But feral cats, the offspring of abandoned domestic cats, do not have an owner to care for them, so we run a TNR (trap, neuter and return) system. This is where feral cats are caught in a humane trap, taken to the vet for neutering and returned the next day to where they were caught. This is where volunteers are needed.
In 2020, we neutered 133 female and 106 males. Think of how many kittens that saved from being born, many to die from starvation or sickness. Their poor mothers would have been left to have yet another litter, and the males to die from infected injuries from fighting.
We need help to set the traps and wait a while out of sight. Hopefully, the cats will smell the food and go into the trap where the door will close behind them. They then have to be taken to the vet, collected in the evening, kept overnight in a shed/garage to recover from the anaesthetic and then released in the area they know. This is not a glamorous job. High heels are not recommended, but if you would really like to make a difference we and the cats would appreciate your help.
You would of course go out with an experienced person at first, we wouldn’t expect anyone to know the procedure. We could also use help with transporting cats from vets to fosterers or taking injured cats to vets. This would not be an everyday problem but is urgent when needed.
If you are at home and would be willing to help when needed please let us know. We are looking for reliable people. We don’t expect anyone to be available 24/7, but would generally need to be willing to help. At the moment we have one person who is trapping, doing vet runs and numerous other jobs seven days a week. We have two or three others who help when work commitments allow. This is very unfair on this person and cannot continue so if you live in Laois and would like to help, please complete the volunteer form and we will get back to you.