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Cat rescues in Haifa

Forever safe
Forever safe
Karla Kirby

Israel’s Cat Society operates excellent services for cats tortured, stranded on rooftops, trees and gutters and those hurt by accidents.

This caring society operates a shelter on the outskirts of Haifa where discarded or wounded cats are treated and kept while they try to find homes for them. Regrettably, the number of cats in quest of adoption grows continually. In year, 2006 their shelter housed about 250 cats, by 2010 they had over 400 and are besieged to maintain them. Many do not find homes and stay put in the society’s shelter for good.
In 2011, they established a regional clinic to offer medical care for homeless cats only. They treat cats suffering from neglect, illness, wounds, abandonment, and road and other accidents, and saddest of all—cruelty.

The Society attempts to find homes for adoptable cats in its shelter, and act as a go-between connecting people with felines to give away and people who want to adopt them. The adopters agree to spay/neuter the cat when the time comes, either privately or through the society’s subsidized rates.

They also work with foster families who look after kittens until they are mature enough to be vaccinated (about two months old), when they are brought back to the shelter to seek adoption.

When the number of street cats becomes a quandary, some factories, places of employment and even local authorities “resolve it” by poisoning the felines, even though this is indeed illegal. The society dedicates enormous effort in trying to prevent such brutal, unlawful mass poisonings of street-cat populations throughout Haifa and the north. When possible they file a complaint with the authorities, but can only do so if eye witnesses are willing to come forward, and this is not constantly the case. If they receive advance notice of a poisoning program they turn to the local authority. Oft times they have had great success in preventing poisonings by appealing to the mayor or to the head of the local authority in whose power they were about to be carried out. They have also received help from the Ministry of the Environment, and once in a while from Knesset members or Ministers who have deep concern about the problem; these include Ms. Yael Dayan while a Member of the Knesset, Advocate Abraham Poraz while Minister of the Interior, and Mr. Yossi Sarid while Minister of Education. Sadly it is relatively atypical to get advance caveat of these illegal mass exterminations; more often than not the Society is told about them too late.

Since its foundation in year 1966 the Society’s top priority has been to raise the knowledge and understanding of animals keepers, especially cat owners, regarding their accountability towards them. Over the years held school lectures, they run youth programs and operated many advocacy stands. Several of those stands are run by their youth--teenagers aged 12 to 18.

They do their dead level best to help people of modest incomes to care for cats: these include retired people, new immigrants, the under-privileged, seniors’ homes, and at any location where cat populations are being sporadically and unlawfully poisoned. The Society devotes great attempts in assisting all these segments of the population, particularly with spaying/neutering their cats. They in particular stress help to new immigrants from Eastern Europe, who on the one hand are recognized for their love of animals but on the other hand lack the essential awareness of how to take care of them and be liable for them. The Society reaches out to this population through the local Russian-language newspapers, both to advocate the spaying/neutering of cat populations and to offer subsidies for cat owners to spay/neuter their pets.

The Society receives about 600 calls per month to its round-the-clock hotline. Like all their actions, the hotline is operated by volunteers who get back to the caller within a few, short hours. Characteristically requests for help include: animals in distress, medical treatment, adoption requests, rescue requests, request for financial help for spaying/neutering, requests for professional information and advice, volunteering offers--particularly from teens, referrals from the municipality for pick up of abandoned cats with kittens, wounded felines, and mass giveaways of unwanted cats because of allergies, owners moving to places that forbid pets, owner’s travelling abroad, threats to ditch domestic cats who could not survive outside and more. .

Donations are accepted from all over the world and every cent is put to a good cause---helping felines..

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