New Pet Corner

We are trying to provide free space for all local animal associations in a coordinated manner through our Pet Corner author, so help us help those that help animals.

FTR Pet CornerWelcome to the new version of the Pet Corner. In these short articles, I prefer not to dwell on the tragedies, but that’s not to say that local, anima-rescue groups don’t, on a daily basis, deal with atrocities that are illegal under Spanish law though rarely enforced.

If you’re interested in aiding abandoned and/or abused animals, please visit the website of the most important animal right’s group in Spain, pacma.es.

PACMA is a national political party and while we’ve heard promises over and over again from local town halls, funding for the sterilisation of cats (and dogs) always disappears like the morning mist over the sea.
While there are many local, animal-rescue groups nobly working and quite frankly paying for the care of these abandoned and/or feral animals out of pocket, it should be up to the state to enforce the laws already on the books.

Unfortunately, I’ll call this week to check, but the PACMA website does not have an English version as far as I can tell. Though what a great way to practice your Spanish!

On the Seaside Gazette website I will list the animal rescue groups from Torre del Mar to Motril. Each organization covers a specific region. For example in Almuñécar you could call APAMA or Valle Verde. In Nerja, the Costa Animal Society, in Torrox, Tails, etc.

All of these rescue groups are perpetually overburdened, so if you call from outside their zone, do not feel resentful if they are unable to help. They will surely give you the contact information to the closest rescue group nearest to you.

Having said that, let’s get down to managing the cat population. The Costa Animal Society (CAS), with whom I’ve been associated for over a decade, has worked very hard to keep the feral cat population in Nerja under control.

When necessary we engage in the standard Trap-Neuter-Return Programme described by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as “the most humane, effective and financially sustainable strategy for controlling free-roaming cat populations.”

If you think that keeping cat populations in check in urban centres is a community problem you are certainly right. Unfortunately, rescue groups must undertake these programs, relying only on private donors; the Town Halls promise the world and deliver nothing. And despite the generosity of local veterinarians, offering discounts for homeless animals, the cost of sterilising so many cats can make for shocking end of the month bills.

Though I currently don’t have time to assist personally in active rescue and rehoming activities, please feel free to call me for advice and contact information about managing cat colonies or other issues. You can reach me on 603 416 632.

All cats should be sterilized, though, when dealing with a wild colony, the females should be captured first. Most vets will provide cages and with a tin of sardines you will normally entice the cats into a harmless trap with a door falling behind them while they lick their chops.

Also, for all cat lovers, there is a fantastic Facebook page you can see here: East of Malaga kittens and Cats/Gatitos de la Axarquía. It will warm your heart.

Editorial note: You can email the author of this column directly on petcentral@theseasidegazette.com

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