SPAY IT FORWARD, VULCAN!
The Town of Vulcan has hundreds of stray and feral cats living within their boundaries. At any point in the year, there are starving cats, orphaned kittens, injured and sick cats, high mortality rate amongst those constantly being born. Although there are many people in Vulcan who care, it was too "big" a project for one person to take on, and most felt powerless to do anything to bring change to the situation. Frustration, resentment, anger and apathy were growing.
The Vulcan Community Cat Network, or VCCN, is a grass-roots, community based initiative to effect change, and to take charge of "fixing" the problem. Partnering with Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue in High River was the first step, which included a meeting with Town Council to talk about the problem and solutions, and then a second Town-sponsored meeting with interested members of the community. This second meeting generated the start of a volunteer base to help in the areas of trapping cats, transporting to the vet for spay/neuter, sourcing local farms and acreages willing to give these otherwise unwanted cats a home, coming up with fundraising ideas and initiatives. It is the bringing together of people who care about their community and the animals within it, and building a "team" to create the change everyone talks about but few wanted to spearhead.
Volunteers from Heaven Can Wait are teaching the new volunteers of VCCN how to make animal welfare initiatives an important and needed contribution to building a more caring and progressive community. It is not just about trying to deal with overpopulation issues ... it's about helping a community to come together and manage a specific issue that affects so many residents, and about educating a community on the benefits and longterm effects of spay/neuter, of bringing awareness to solutions that involve empathy and commitment.
VCCN needs the financial support to continue to have these animals treated by a veterinarian, and to purchase more of the humane traps required to reach as many cats as possible.
Who Will it Benefit?
The stray, abandoned and feral cats of the community benefit first and foremost by having veterinary care that includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, tattoo identification and parasite treatment. But ultimately, it is the community of Vulcan who benefits the most ... communication, teamwork, working with the municipality, local fundraising initiatives to bring awareness and support, being a resource for other concerned citizens who want to help, continuing to develop a volunteer base of committed and interested people who want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.