A small island off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland has just become the target of a feral cat rescue operation. Little Bay Islands was home to 54 people until February this year, but the residents voted to relocate and in the process they left behind the colonies of feral cats on the island. Power, water, and ferry services to Little Bay Islands will come to an end in the New Year, but not before volunteers will help rehome the cats.
It was previously announced by the local government that a private veterinarian was recruited to "safely" trap and assess the situation, possibly euthanizing the animals if necessary. People weren't happy about the situation, however, and a press release has since indicate the veterinarian will no longer be involved.
As the Journal Pioneer reports, Halifax-based charity Spay Day HRM Society offered to help the feline population of Little Bay Islands after former residents expressed concerns. "Killing animals is not the answer to anything, in my opinion," the charity's president Linda Felix said. It is estimated that there are around 50 or so cats still on the island, although there is no official count. Other estimates point to upwards of 60 cats.
"These cats are losing their caregivers, their food source, their shelters. And they're just gonna die a long, suffering death, and I can't live with that," Felix told Vice. "Everybody was waiting for somebody to do something, but there doesn't seem to be that somebody." Following the press release earlier this week that said the government might euthanize the cats, Felix and her team rushed to organize a response.
The volunteers plan to make it to the island to trap, neuter, and return the cats, and cat rescue society owner Sonya Higgins is helping Felix organize the operation. She has since urged anyone concerned about the situation to contact elected officials and demand govnerment funding for their trip to the island. "Things could turn around in Newfoundland if we make this the turning point," she continued.