Volunteers are needed to help keep cats off the streets in Ipswich as the AWLQ launches a new initiative to support the Ipswich community with stray cats.
The Cat Assistance Team (C.A.T.) is a new ground-breaking initiative of Animal Welfare League Queensland to help the community with stray cat issues and prevent stray and impounded cats.
People who care about cats and wildlife are encouraged to volunteer as part of the new C.A.T. Program, piloted exclusively in the Ipswich community.
The program will help owners and carers of stray cats to keep them off the streets to prevent them from being trapped and impounded.
The Cat Assistance Team will help find owners of stray cats and offer support with desexing and microchipping, transport to vet clinics, ways to keep cats on their property and allow people to keep wandering cats off their property.
Support will also be available for people struggling to keep their cats and care for them, for example, assistance with cat food and vital vet support and emergency boarding in sudden unexpected illness.
Dr Joy Verrinder, AWLQ’s Strategic Director, said the program seeks positive volunteers with energy and initiative who care passionately about helping animals and the community.
“Perhaps you are a retired professional who has spare time and wants to make a difference within your community. Getting out and about in the community will be enjoyable, fun, and rewarding.
“This is also an excellent opportunity for young people who have left school and want skills and experience to find a meaningful job,” said Dr Verrinder.
People lose their beloved cat every year because it jumps over the fence and doesn’t come back. In addition, people experience nuisance issues from these same cats wandering into their property.
“We plan to work with the community to find better ways of preventing this, rather than trapping and impounding cats. Impounding cats causes stress for the cat. It causes heartache for the owner who doesn’t know where their cat is and for the staff and volunteers who care for many cats and struggle to find them all homes,” said Dr Verrinder.
Multiple studies have shown that cats are 10 – 50 times more likely to be reunited with their owners if not impounded.
AWLQ currently manages the stray and impounded animals for the City of Ipswich and rehomes all healthy, sociable and treatable cats and dogs.
“We have worked with the City of Ipswich Animal Management Department to develop this new initiative to reduce cat issues and oversupply of cats that the officers, rehoming staff and volunteers, and rescue groups are trying to manage each year,” said Dr Verrinder.
The program aims to change how the community thinks about managing cats and offer support to cats and the whole community to prevent problems rather than impounding cats.
Anyone interested in volunteering with the new C.A.T. Program can complete an Expression of Interest Form by visiting http://www.awlqld.com.au/volunteer-cat-assistance-team or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org