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Everyone on O‘ahu knows that there are too many free-roaming cats.
As you can see from the chart above, there are various reasons that we see cats on the streets. Most people don’t see or truly understand just how many people are out there working every day to help the cats and combat overpopulation. There are literally thousands of dear people going out every day and night spending their own money (by the thousands) to care for these cats. We applaud and want to support these efforts.
A much needed place of refuge
Every day, people call us asking us to take their cats because they need to rehome them for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes people move off island and leave their pets behind. Some renters lose their housing and can't find a new place that is pet friendly. Some just don't want their cat anymore. Since the few no-kill sanctuaries on the island are at (or over) capacity, people resort to abandonment, hoping or believing their cat will be better off on the street than potentially euthanized at a shelter. Nothing could be further from the truth. A regular house cat does not do well when thrust into a colony of territorial feral cats. This is cruel and heartless. At Popoki Place, we will help to free up space for smaller shelters and adoption venues by taking their "unadoptable" cats. Of course we believe no cat is unadoptable but these are the cats that need time and space to feel safe around humans and come out of their shells.
The importance of TNRM (and how it works)
One important large-scale effort underway on Oahu is TNRM (Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage). Scores of volunteers go out every night to set traps for unfixed (intact) stray cats. They set the humane traps and observe from a distance. As soon as the cat goes into the cage, the caregiver covers it with a towel to calm the cat down. The cat is then taken to a low-cost sterilization clinic like those run by CatFriends, an organization dedicated to reducing overpopulation by coordinating volunteers and veterinarians to sterilize the cats humanely and professionally so they can’t reproduce. While under anesthesia, the cats are combed for fleas, checked for any major issues, and given a microchip to document which caregiver they belong to. They also get their ears notched so we can see at a glance if they have been fixed already. (Left for males, right for females.) At some clinics, basic vaccinations are included. Then the caregivers return the cats to the location where they were trapped. The cats know their “home” and recover quickly from this experience. The caregiver returns to feed them and continue to care for them daily, trapping any new unfixed cats. Sterilizing cats is the best way to reduce overpopulation and will ultimately help to reduce the number of free-roaming cats. These dedicated volunteers also take care of injured and sick cats, pooling their financial resources to pay veterinarians, who also lower their prices for the feral cat population.
The TNR efforts that are underway are heroic, yet we need a lot more. Demand for low-cost sterilizations already exceeds supply, as the number of clinics are limited, exacerbated by a nationwide vet shortage. Organizations already providing this service need to be funded to be able to perform trappings and sterilizations 5+ days per week, systematically combing all O‘ahu neighborhoods for unfixed strays.
Other creative projects happening on O‘ahu
No sanctuary could ever take every cat off the street. We are just one piece of a large network of local people doing amazing work. Rescue Kitties of Hawaii is a local nonprofit group that ships adoptable cats to partner shelters on the mainland who have lots of people wanting cats and not enough cats. Lucky Paws is an organization that offers premium cat boarding to fund its rescue, foster, and TNR operations. Kat Charities combines their cat café and rescue operation with programs to nurture and empower children and adults with special needs. We, at Popoki Place want to be large enough to support all the wonderful organizations like these by providing a safe and secure outlet for unadoptable cats that cannot be returned to their colonies for safety reasons.
Cats are considered an invasive species and there are also those who just think they're a nuisance.
Why culling isn’t the answer.
At Popoki Place O‘ahu Cat Sanctuary:
The community needs Popoki Place!
Your support and contributions will enable us to help these animals. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
Copyright © 2023 Popoki Place Oahu Cat Sanctuary - All Rights Reserved.
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