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Right now, there are approximately 100 million stray cats in the world – on every continent except for Antarctica. Close to 60 million of these street cats are in the United States.
It is hard to believe that the same graceful creatures who were once revered in Ancient Egypt are now often discarded like rubbish in derelict areas across the globe. They have gone from royalty to poverty, formerly having been dressed in jewels and even mummified upon their death, to living with mange and ticks and dying alone on the streets. Fortunately, thanks to kind-hearted animal lovers like you, some cats are very well cared for. They are valued by humans for their independence, affectionate companionship, intellect and natural ability to hunt vermin and other household pests. Even so, the figure of 100 million who are not so lucky, is a crisis.
Cats breed from as early as five months old, with high fertility rates allowing them to bear several kittens at a time. The animals can also birth up to five litters every year. While a cat’s life expectancy is dependent on a multitude of factors, their average lifespan ranges between 12-14 years.
If not effectively managed, the population of street cats grows rapidly and more and more will be born into lives of suffering. Stray felines live in close proximity to each other, prompting the transmission of contagious diseases, parasites and bacterial and viral infections such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). By providing critically needed food, financing vaccinations and running effective Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs, we can give stray cats a chance to survive and have some semblance of a decent life.
This is a temporary solution for the ongoing issue of cats in crisis. Through public awareness campaigns, it is our hope that pet owners will think twice before resorting to dumping their precious animals, and that more individuals become inspired by the mantra of “adopt don’t shop” when the time comes for street cats to be adopted into loving, forever homes.
NFA works to help street cats around the world. We support projects in Greece, South Africa, Italy, Mexico, Ukraine, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Before COVID, in summer, life was easy for Greek street cats because tourists and restaurant owners fed them. Winter is always a much sadder story because street cats find their food supplies vanish with the tourists. The COVID-19 pandemic put an end to the tourists and now hunger is their constant companion throughout the year. The situation on the Greek islands is particularly severe because very few people spend winters there. Network for Animals funds spay and neuter programs and provides food for street cats on the islands of Kefalonia, Ithaca and Meganisi.
In Paciano, Italy, we provide funding for the care and feeding of street cats.
In Mauritius, we support Second Chance Animal Rescue (SCAR), a sanctuary for 167 unwanted cats and dogs. With no suitable animal shelters in the region, founder Sameer Golam was taking rescues into his own home. In December 2021, Sam was ordered to remove the animals from his house. The shelter faced potential closure in February 2022, and every animal under Sam’s care was at risk of being seized by the local municipality and killed. Network for Animal raised the funds to (temporarily) move the animals to safety. We have also found an appropriate replacement location and are financing the construction of a brand new shelter for the animals.
Network for Animals supports a cat and dog sterilization clinic in the rural area of Xai-Xai in Mozambique. This sterilization program hasn’t only curbed the birth of unwanted animals, but has helped to improve the overall health of the animals of the region.
In the impoverished farming town of Calvinia in South Africa, hundreds and dogs and cats are suffering the effects of a devastating, years-long drought. The drought has destroyed this Northern Cape farming community and in turn, left the people and animals starving. We work with partners on the ground to sterilize the animals of Calvinia’s Blikkiesdorp township and to provide critically needed veterinary care, treatment and food to the hundreds of dogs and cats who live there. Since our work began there in 2021, we have helped bring hundreds of animals back from the brink of death, conducted several mass sterilization drives, and delivered literal tons of pet food. We continue to work closely with the community to help keep their animals healthy and fed.
In Cape Town, South Africa, we support the work of CTSN which cares for feral cats in industrial areas.
Network for Animals supports the TEARS (The Emma Animal Rescue Society) Cattery in Cape Town, South Africa, which cares for some 150 cats at its shelter, by providing funding for much-needed food, vital search and rescue missions and veterinary care. All the cats in TEARS’ care have been previously abandoned, abused or neglected, often rescued from the city’s poverty-stricken township areas.
The dire economic situation in Zimbabwe compounded by COVID-19 has left countless animals sick, starving, homeless and dreadfully neglected. We help to support several partners on the ground there, including the Friend Animal Foundation (FAF), which cares for around 145 unwanted cats. We also support feeding, sterilization and treatment programs in Harare and Bulawayo in order to help improve the lives of the cities’ street cat populations.
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Leadership Gifts Officer
Lisa-Mari was raised in South Africa and joined the NFA team as the UK fundraiser after relocating to Greece. With a background in public relations and a passion for helping animals her role at NFA is a perfect match.
Director of Leadership Gifts, USA
Alissa is the Director of Leadership Gifts in the United States. She has a background in nonprofit fundraising and marketing, but believes all paths led her to Network for Animals, where she is able to combine her professional experience with her personal passion for animal welfare. Alissa lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and her fur-baby Ollie, who is treated like the prince he thinks he is, since his human brother and sister are grown and now living on their own. Alissa loves speaking to our supporters who she truly considers a community of fellow animal lovers.