A Special Day
Special for so many reasons for everyone involved in looking after the cats here in Albufeira, today is not just about past events it is also a milestone day for new events planned for the cats in and around Albufeira. Today we met with the Municipal Vet in Albufeira to discuss how as an organisation we can build on the work we do with their support. It was a very positive meeting with potential benefits for our charity in the new year.
We have been working tirelessly over the last 10 months building a stronger, more fluid and responsive AGA Charity. This has been beneficial to the street cats, the volunteers and the functionality of the charity.
With the use of social media there has been a sharp increase in requests for help both from residents and tourist visitors. Initially our purpose was to maintain a consistent approach to the humane way we deal with the street cat population through an active Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) programme, in addition we are now dealing with significantly more requests for help for abandoned and injured cats.
We rely on a small number of volunteers who are trained and are equipped with the correct equipment to cause minimal stress to each cat that we catch for sterilisation. We operate in the early morning and sometimes late evenings at feeding time to minimise the length of time the cat is held away from its natural habitat.
The cats are normally delivered to the Vets first thing in the morning and are returned back to the colony normally within 48 hours. We can normally process up to 5 sterilisations on a daily basis, however there are days where we process none.
We do not have a set time of year for our TNR programme as we work throughout the year catching cats and kittens as and when they are reported. In our managed colonies the biggest risk to the population increasing is cats or kittens that are dumped in our managed colonies by people who have failed to get their own domestic pets sterilised.
There are a number of abandoned properties that we do not have direct access to, where small colonies have developed the most recent being situated in old town Albufeira. These locations are our primary concern as these cats will require additional treatment as well as sterilisation which AGA currently funds through donations. We have a plan in place to address this.
AGA provides a lifeline for many stray and feral cats living in the Algarve. TNR is our primary concern, but colony management - providing daily feeding, while monitoring the colony for any injury or illness - is at heart of what we do. It can be a challenge to meet the needs of the stray and feral cats with the aid of just a handful of dedicated volunteers but we manage our workload well. AGA volunteers help in many different ways, giving varying amounts of their valuable time. They have jobs and busy lives, but still find the time to make a huge contribution to the work we do. We are building our capacity to help cats in need of sterilisation and medical treatment with more volunteers slowly coming on board to help. In addition we have a very strong working relationship with Carvoeiro Cat Charity who have assisted with high dependency cases such as road traffic accidents. We are extremely grateful for the help and guidance they have shown us.
Our long-term aim is to educate people in the importance of sterilisation and animal welfare.
AGA Cat Charity is the number one search result on Google when people are looking for assistance for cat related matters in Albufeira. Our strong presence on social media and the Internet allows us to update, educate and assist with request for help.
Our new scheduled activities will be announced in the near future.