Say no to cull of street cats in Canillas de Aceituno

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I have been involved with caring for the street cats in our little Spanish village for seven years. As well as feeding the groups daily, with a small team I have taken around 150 cats to be neutered, using the TNR method, Trap, Neuter, Return. I have had funding for this first from a local charity, then a generous private person, then the Mayor of our village, and most recently from my 70th birthday fundraiser.

My fundraiser brought me € 2,300 and I have spent € 1,700 in this particular neutering campaign. I pay for food for the cats in the region of £ 300 to £ 400 a month from my own pension.

There is a problem with dog faeces in the streets of our village. Unwanted dogs are sometimes dumped nearby and some villagers leave their dogs to run around on their own. Others will walk their dogs on a lead but don't clear up behind their dog. The Mayor has received complaints about this problem, and also complaints about the smell from the cats. I have explained at length that cats are very clean animals who will choose to bury their stools in an earthy area and not just leave them on the pavement. Any smell of cat urine comes solely from non neutered males. Our Vet has remarked on the excellent condition of the cats that I bring her for neutering.

The Mayor is adamant that he will bring in people from the local dog pound to collect, take to the pound, and eventually destroy any cats or dogs found on the streets of the village. The Mayor plans to start this mid-November. I would hope that this petition would make him realize that many people feel very strongly about this cruel idea. It is not as if it will actually work. On a mainland area the clean, neutered cats will be replaced by non neutered cats in a very short time.

This will be devastating for me and other people who are fond of these beautiful, well-cared for cats. The thought of these lovely creatures, each with its own distinct personality, being dragged away to be electrocuted is just so upsetting. More forward thinking local Mayors are supporting TNR rather than condemning the animals to death.


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