Cat Neutering

Over the years of living in Greece, we have organised cat neutering as a result of our passion, for the welfare of strays.  In some cases we have had charity vets visit 3 times a year, which was a huge help.  With this, it allowed us to accomplish neutering over hundreds of cats, using the local vets at the time, and also the visiting charity vets.  During the early days, we used to use the local vets, but because all our activities are self-funded, it became hugely expensive. Many locals might not agree to neutering/sterilizing any animal, however, when one walks past waste-bins and hears the tiny me-ows of kittens, or when one sees starving kittens being abused, kicked, sprayed, stoned, poisoned or thrown into the sea, then neutering is the only solution to stop unwanted kittens and hopefully stop this type of behaviour.  Equally when you hear LOUD cries from newborn kittens and find new born puppies, which are past saving, it is devastating. For animal lovers, sights like these are heartbreaking, and keep many visitors away from Greece.  

Neutering cats is one of the most important steps in reducing overpopulation.  A single unneutered female cat and her kittens could produce hundreds of kittens in just a few years.  Neutering a cat, male or female, will mean that the cat will be healthier, have less chance of getting uterine infections (pyometra), or breast cancer, and virtually no risk of any sexually transmitted diseases.  They become cleaner, territorial, calmer, less aggressive and less likely to go wandering for a partner 'on heat'.  If you see any cat with the top part of its left ear clipped, then you know it has been neutered.  Food, water, love and care will always be welcomed by these little furry friends.    

COMPLETED CAT NEUTERING PROGRAMME TO DATE

The sterilization of stray animals is hugely important to our animal welfare activity here in Ermioni, otherwise we would be faced with huge colonies of diseased and starving animals, which would no doubt result in poisoning.  The sterilization process is quite simple in so far that the animals do not need more than one day of post operative care.    Males are generally neutered in five minutes, whereas females are generally neutered in approximately 20 minutes.  Once the neutering has been completed, each pussy cat is given a pain relief and antibiotics that lasts for a few days.    Back into the cages they go and are kept in a warm place until they recover, which is usually the next day.  Next day, we greet them with food and water.    Once they have been fed and watered, they are then released back to the same area where they were trapped, or picked up and we ensure they are fed daily.  The idea is that this fast recovery period and short operating time means that it is possible to capture large numbers of strays and continue the neutering for a few days.  However, because of our limited resources, we can only do one session periodically and try to make it worthwhile operation.  
 
Working on our own, it is not an easy straight forward activity either. Much has to be done in secret, days in advance, without being seen, without being observed trying to catch strays off the streets, otherwise, these strays suddenly become the property of the locals.  Sad as it may sound, this is reality.  Equally, we have been hounded by some people as stray cats are only around to kill mice, kill snakes and eat the cockroaches.  Nothing else!!!  I am amazed when I hear young people question neutering, because in their opinions, there will be less cats, so who will be killing all the rodents and snakes? We try to respect other people's views and opinions, but still feel this is the right thing to do! 
 

 

NOVEMBER 2015 - Very cold day, but managed to get 16 pussycats neutered.  I worry during the winter months, because the pussycats have to be kept very warm, until they are released.  

APRIL 2015 - This month 12 cats were taken to the vets to be neutered, BUT I brought home more that what was taken.  One mummy cat, who we painlessly trapped because she was wild and pregnant, decided to have 3 babies.  Naturally she couldn't be neutered and was brought back with her babies, until the day she escaped and ran for freedom, never to be found again.  But her babies were saved and hand reared.

MARCH 2015 - No luxury of any vets.  Instead a car load of 11 cats were taken to a vet for neutering.

FEBRUARY 2015 - This months we managed to castrate and sterilize some dogs besides cats.  Three dogs were castatrated/sterilzed and 10 cats were neutered.  With the dogs, it was harder, because we literally didn't have anywhere to put them, until a last minute decision allowed us to keep them in some open ground, where they were safe and free from harm.

JANUARY 2015 - We don't have the luxury of visiting charity vets, so occasionally we work with local vets.  It is sheer hard work because we have to catch them and then take them in the car to the vets, then collect from the vets, but it is an important task to try and get as many neutered as possible.  This month we managed to neuter 13 pussycats from various colonies.

OCTOBER 2014 - At very short notice, we were asked whether we had any cats that might need neutering, as there were a couple of visiting charity vets in the local area and they were desparate for work.  Was it possible to round up some strays?  Well, we would at least try, and so a further 19 strays were neutered that very same day.  We were so busy, we didn't have chance to take any photo's.  

JULY 2014 - This month we managed to neuter 19 strays over a couple of weeks.  The larger group were neutered in our primitive conditions and another 7 were taken to the vets.  Not ideal, because it is a long journey, but it has to be done.

JUNE 2014 - Working again in primitve conditions, today we were able to neuter 12 pussy cats, which were caught in various colonies. Not an easy job, as sometimes, you end up waiting ages for them to enter into the 'trap' cage.

MAY 2014 - This month we managed to neuter 19 pussy cats.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the strays looked on, and the caught pussy cats were scared until they were released, after recovering from the operation.

APRIL 2014 - Spring had arrived and we managed to catch/trap some more pussy cats.  In an ideal world, it would be great to catch more, but because there is only the two of us, we don't have the resources or the man power to help us in our activities.  But a few often helps the cause.  Within this small group, there was a pregnant pussy cat.  Not pleasant, but the work has to be done, otherwise these unwanted kittens would be binned.  16 stray cats were neutered, which was great.

JANUARY 2014 -  On this particular day, the vet that I work closely with decided to come to Ermioni, because there isn't a vet here in this town. Working conditions were very primitive, but at least where the animal neutering was concerned, another 14 strays were neutered.  A nice start to the year and a continuous ongoing activity.

NOVEMBER 2013 - I was put into contact with a professional person in Holland, whose friend wanted to undertake a project in Greece. We communicated and luckily he liked what he read and wanted to make a difference to our cause and help.  He saw our primitive working conditions, but that did not deter him in any way.  We worked without any resources, but managed to neuter 42 strays. His techniques were great and his 'stitching' skills absolutely amazing.

OCTOBER 2013 - Another 7 stray pussy cats were trapped, neutered and released this month.  Not many this month, but that was because the local vet was on holiday.  Seven is better than none at all and it certainly does help the cause.  Hopefully, I can continue this activity, whilst I am receiving the support, which is a huge financial help.

SEPT 2013 - I have been very fortunate to have the support of people, who are helping me continue in my neutering programme of GreekStrays.  It truly is hard work trying to source the strays and getting up in the early hours of the morning.  Frustrating too, when the strays walk into traps and walk out again. Anyway on this particular day, 7 strays were neutered, which all help the cause.

AUGUST 2013 - For some unknown reason, the charity visiting vets have stopped.  By now I would have had 3 vets visits this year.  As a result, I have been desperately trying to source vets to help me with neutering, and finally through helping a lovely couple with a rescued stray puppy, here in Ermioni, led on to me meeting a very nice lady by the name of Gaby and her charity.  It was agreed that I could do 5 pussy cats per week.  So my first 5 were neutered on 29 August 2013.  Not many, but 5 each week is better than none at all.  

MARCH 2013 - I had an opportunity of taking some pussy cats across to the island of Spetses.  Not at all ideal, but neutering a few cats was better than nothing at all.  They just wailed on the boat, to the stares of the local people.  Comments were made such as "Souvalaki".  I was grateful, but it will not happen again, as the logistics are terrible.  Total of 14 cats neutered, and sadly one soldier that we caught and were so concerned about, was put to sleep, because he was riddled with cancer.

SEPTEMBER 2012 - A one day cat neutering took place on the outskirts of town.  It is sheer hard work catching all these cats.  Because there are only the 2 of us, we have to start a few days before, which is sheer hard work.  But at the end of the day, it helps the cause of unwanted kittens and keeps the strays in better condition.  Getting up at 4 am and trying to trap some of the feral cats, can be frustrating.  It's like the cats know what is in store for them.  In an ideal world, it would be easier to befriend them months before, but that is not always possible.  Not only is there the early morning catching to do, there is all the releasing of the cats to do afterwards and the scrubbing of cages and boxes.  Thank you to the vets and the few ladies that helped during the session, and the kind donations that were received towards the cause.  Total of 32 cats neutered in 7 hours.

SEPTEMBER 2012 - We received an email about a mummy cat and her 5 babies, who were living in a dangerous part of Athens, and would I consider re-homing them.  Initially there were 7 kittens, but 2 had already been killed on the roads.  We agreed, but had to have the mummy cat neutered immediately by the local vet, who was great.  Now the mummy and her babies are enjoying a little piece of paradise.

AUGUST 2012 - We were asked to look after and care for this cat, as the holidaymakers were concerned with his injuries.  He didn't look healthy but was a very soft loving cat.  They promised that they would send donations for his upkeep, but sadly this never happened.  They named him Squigey, and this is what we continue to call him.  We took him to the vet for consultation, and at the same time, had him neutered privately by the local vet.  Now he is living together with many other strays, and is being nursed and looked after by us.

FEBRUARY 2012 - This was made possible by having a good location in which to work at, on the outskirts of Ermioni.  Thank you to all you helped during this time and the two vets who were great. Total of 57 cats neutered over 2 days.

SEPTEMBER 2011 - With a generator kindly loaned by a good friend, and a gas hob and bottle kindly loaned by F.A,S.E, the cat neutering programme took place on the outskirts of Ermioni.  Thank you to all who helped during the September programme.  Total of 27 cats neutered in 6 hours.


APRIL 2011 - Had the opportunity for a neutering programme at short notice, but no premises available.  Suitable premises were eventualy found, which were great.  A group of animal lovers around Porto Heli wanted to neuter some of the bin cats, so we were able to help them.  Bin cats are a problem, but with neutering, these feral cats can become healthy.  Thank you to all who helped during the April programme, the vet and the people who offered their premises. Total of 32 cats neutered in 2 days.

  

JANUARY 2011 - Couldn't get a better location than this..............pool, seaview and stunning house.  Many feral cats were neutered within this area, which was out of Ermioni.  Besides taking some feral  cats from Ermioni and Kranidi, a very kind animal loving Greek couple were very concerned about the increase of feral cats within their area.  Could we help?  Naturally we did what we could and will continue to do so.  Lucky for us, there was a good friend of the Greek couple, who was able to trap many of these feral cats, but the main 'big daddy' seemed wise, and refused point blank to enter the trap.  Maybe another time. Thank you to all who helped during the January programme, the vet and vet nurse and the people who offered their premises.  Total of 41 cats neutered in 2 days.

 

NOVEMBER 2010 - Beautiful location with views overlooking the sea.  Sadly one person brought their 'young' feral cats much too young. As a result, these little ones will have to wait until another time.  Not only is neutering performed by the skilled vets, they also give medical attention to any feral sick or injured cats where possible, but feral cats are so difficult to trap.  Sometimes they will walk into the trap, eat the food and walk out.  Hence the reason for being patient and resources are needed to help in this task.  This is the hardest bit.............trying to catch/trap feral cats!!!!  Thank you to all who helped during the November programme, the vet and the people who offered their premises.  Total of 30 cats neutered in 2 days.

 

SEPTEMBER 2010 - Beautiful location with windows overlooking the sea.  Helpers for making refreshments, but the hardest part again was trying to catch the feral cats.  With limited trap cages, it was just a couple at a time, especially with one person catching.  On the second day, we had another person to help. Therefore for us, catching the feral cats sometimes has to be done a few days before, but if this is the case, then we always ensure plenty of water is given to them.  Not only is neutering done during these sessions, if we see an injured animal, we try and do what we can.  This was the case with Matoshka (first picture below) If she belonged to anyone, why she was left for so long without treatment?  Poor little girl could hardly walk.   Thank you to all who helped during the September programme, the two vets and the people who offered their premises.  Total of 40 cats neutered in 2 days.

 

MARCH 2010 - In an old village house.  Sadly this was an awful experience for us, as one cat died at the beginning of treatment.  One becomes very fond of all strays and it can be upsetting when some don't make it.  Thanks to the vet and the helpers who supplied the tea. Total of 27 cats neutered in 2 days.

DECEMBER 2009 - In an old house which was freezing cold, at least we had electricity and running water.  Peter the vet was absolutely great, our sincere thanks go to Peter who helped us get some more village cats neutered.  No helpers during this session, but we managed.  Total of 19 cats neutered in 1 day.

MAY 2009 - In a field with very primitive working conditions, especially as there was no hot water.  Had to thoroughly scrub the place to make it clean and sterile for the neutering.  However, the weather was kind to us and we managed to get many cats neutered.  Our sincere thanks go to the helpers, who were available for any needs that arose, and to the people who provided us with hot food and refreshments. Thank you to all who helped during the May programme and the vet.  Total of 25 cats neutered in 2 days.

 

MAY 2008 - This was our first neutering session and really didn't know what to expect.  The day went very well, the vet was very good and worked quickly. The hardest part was trying to catch the feral cats, as we had no experience and no proper cages in which to catch them in.  With our plastic boxes, we somehow managed.  Suitable premises, with hot and cold water, sheer luxury.  Thank you to the vet.  Total of 19 cats neutered in 2 days.

 

Thank you to all who have made donations, or supplied equipment for the Greek strays here in Ermioni, Greece.  We are truly grateful for this generosity, but it has to continue.  This for us is a tremendous step in moving forward in continuing to improve the plight of Greek strays within our region.  Presently all our activities are self funded, we don’t receive any financial help.  Our cause is to try and raise funds, to buy land and create the first animal sanctuary within our area.  We need to continue the important task of Capture-Neuter-Release, feeding and caring for the sick and injured, re-home where possible, but most of all, give these helpless Greek strays a chance of survival in a safe haven.   Animals sadly do not have a voice, but they do have rights.  If you like what you have read, and wish to help, your generosity will be greatly appreciated.  Please, consider helping the cause and make your donation by clicking the paypal button.    Everything is possible, but funds are needed to make a dream come true.  Living in a village environment means that we are extremely limited as to how many strays we can look after, but we do our best with the resources we have.  At least we try and give plenty of love and affection, in oppose to what some have endured:  poisoned, kicked, abused, neglected, starved or stoned.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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