For many animals lockdown has been a death sentence

Hartbeespoort Feral Cat Rescue, like many other animal rescue organisations has been granted an essential services permit to enable them to care for the almost 750 abandoned and feral cats in the greater Hartbeespoort area.

Initially the lockdown had severely impacted the organisation’s ability to look after the feral cat colonies and it had to rely on members of the public in the colony areas to feed the animals. Currently a handful of volunteers set out on a daily basis to feed and care for these cats in the 27 colonies around the dam. “An alarming number of cats are now being dumped at known feral colonies,” says founder Joanne Kontaxopoulos “These cats will form their own colonies and breed, unless Harties Feral Cat Rescue can trap, neuter and return these poor cats to their now, new outdoor homes.”

“A number of businesses who looked after feral cat colonies around and on their premises had to close down with no plan in place to feed the cats. Through locked gates and creative negotiation with security personnel, our volunteers now take care of feral cat colonies that they did not even know existed,” Joanne says. “Because of the dire situation these cats find themselves in, mother cats leave their kittens in search of food and members of the public find these kittens. Many have been brought to our volunteers. Once healthy and old enough, they will be put up for adoption to pre-screened loving homes. Our foster-care volunteers’ homes are currently filled to the brim with kittens, and this is not always understood by the general public,” she says.

“The outbreak of Covid-19 and the consequent lockdown has been devastating to humans, but to many animals it has been a death sentence.”

In order to raise funds to continue looking after the feral cats, Harties Feral Cat Rescue sells face masks, high quality black refuse bags, beautiful hand-made Onyx and Dalmatian stone bracelets, and is currently running a luxury mid-week getaway raffle to continue raising funds for their cause. They rely 100% on the generosity of the animal-loving public. “We are extremely grateful to the members of the community that regularly support us.”

For more information about Harties Feral Cat Rescue, follow them on FB – @kieters or visit the website at www.hartiesferalcats.co.za