CATS OF ANTIPAROS
Our goals include:
Establishing an organised group of volunteers for both the summer and winter periods to ensure that the various colonies of stray cats are fed and treated all year;
Setting up a neutering program (Trap Neuter Return = TNR) so that the stray cats can be trapped, taken to one safe and secure place to be neutered, tagged (ear cut), treated and returned to their original colony;
Educating the local community and tourists about our organisation and the steps they can take to assist us in looking after the stray cats;
Keeping the local community and all donors, sponsors and supporters informed and
regularly updated as to what we are achieving and where their donated funds are being spent;
Locating volunteer Vets and/or putting a system in place with a Vet/s on Paros to offer discounted prices for our organisation and/or arranging for a Vet to come to Antiparos at least once a week;
Setting up Feeding/Water Stations around the island for tourists and locals to be able to donate (rather than by giving money) dry food and fresh water;
Sourcing some premises to run our operation from including somewhere to store food and supplies, take deliveries and organise distribution as well as establish our own safe and secure Veterinary clinic (perhaps the abandoned bus near the cemetery);
Establishing an adoption program so that healthy, sociable stray cats can be re-homed forever (in conjunction with a fostering program for kittens).
To achieve our goals, we plan to raise sufficient funds to pay for everything required for our organisation to operate effectively including good quality cat food, medicine and medical supplies, veterinary expenses, traps/cages for the neutering program and to generally transport cats, travel expenses if volunteers need to take the ferry to Paros, etc. Our fundraising ideas/goals include:
- seeking donations through our website, Facebook page and other social media via a safe and secure PayPal account;
- asking people to sponsor a cat by donating a set amount on a regular basis and accounting to them by sending them regular updates regarding the cat’s progress and where the funds have been spent;
- establishing and promoting a list of typical expenses that we incur so that people can see how much things cost and where the money is being spent e.g how much to feed a cat or a colony of cats per week, the costs of neutering/sterilizing each cat, a typical Veterinary initial examination, the cost of various medications such as worming, fleas, vaccinations, eye treatment, etc;
- setting up donation collection boxes around the island;
- organising events/activities to raise funds and encourage supporters to do the same (e.g. something as simple as a morning tea at work to gala events with donated items being auctioned off);
- finding ways to economise on our spending, such as sourcing larger quantities of cat food and other supplies and seeking discounts;
- sourcing/creating and selling various items promoting our organisation such as calendars, magnets, stickers for donations boxes, postcards, etc.
Obviously, it will take some time to achieve our goals and this will be a staged process. This is a long-term and ongoing project. Our first priority is to raise some funds so that we can ensure that the stray cats are fed by various volunteers as soon as possible, particularly over the winter period when less people are around. From there, we would like to focus on finding some premises or at least an arrangement with volunteer vets and/or vets on Paros to commence our TNR program. To do this, we will first need to purchase some traps and cages and any other necessary supplies and equipment.
During the initial set-up period, our founding members and volunteers will not be able to take in stray cats or kittens for treatment, fostering or other care. Please understand that everyone involved in this project is already caring for and feeding numerous stray cats at their own properties and elsewhere on the island, so do not have the capacity to take in any more at this stage. As funds are raised, we will update our Facebook page and let the community know which resources we have available and when the next stage is reached.
We would appreciate everyone’s patience, understanding and support while we aim toachieve our goals as soon as possible.