Today we have an important shout-out to make for one of our valued readers who also happens to be a huge animal advocate! Riva’s vision is to save the cats of Israel and has joined the charity Let The Animals Live for whom she works as the Director of the TNR and Cats’ matters.
Israel is in a state of tremendous feline overpopulation, which means that there are many more cats that are being born than adopting homes and places for them to live.
Each and every day tens of thousands of cats are born in Israel, that only live short lives full of severe suffering from disease, hunger and abuse. This situation causes mortality and severe suffering for the cats and a burden (emotional, physical and financial) on those who love them.
Most of the Israeli public is indifferent to this situation.
But in fact, this is not an acceptable situation in a country that claims to be modern and of a high standard of living.
There is something that can be done.
It is possible to change this reality for them and for all who are not indifferent to suffering.
The feline overpopulation also constitutes a complex environmental and financial challenge. While the state, regional and local authorities are allocating certain budgets towards this cause, this unfortunately is not substantial enough to really provide a long term solution. These allocated funds are only enough for approximately 100,000 spaying procedures per year across the country, while at the same time at least five times as many cats are born, some of whom survive and give birth again and again.
A female cat gives birth for the first time at the age of six months (!), each time with three-four kittens on average and three times every year!! Unfortunately, feral cats who are not spayed live only three-four years on average, and during these years that are full of suffering they give birth to dozens of kittens.
There are even privately owned cats that are not spayed, due to the lack of low cost spaying clinics, high market prices and a general lack of awareness to the importance of spaying and neutering cats. Some of these cats are sadly abandoned and end up on the streets, because there are not enough homes for all the kittens that are born.
Naturally, due to the special circumstances in Israel, this difficult subject is not and will not be given a high priority in the state’s budget.
This is exactly the reason why we are turning to people who care, with the means to make a difference, even in this seemingly less significant field.
So what can be done in practice?
There are approximately half a million privately owned cats and approximately 2 million additional feral cats in Israel today. A significant number of these are located in the central part of the country. These numbers naturally increase all the time and the cat becomes the most common animal in Israel in terms of numbers, just like in the rest of the world.
Most of the cats who live in the streets were born there, while others were abandoned or got lost. All of them are in need of high quality spaying and a regular source of food and water, so that they can live quality lives.
The cats who were born in the streets – this is their home and it is our obligation to protect them and to give them the opportunity to live quality lives and to avoid suffering, for them and for all people (those who love cats and also those who do not). This will also be helpful for the environment, as the spayed cat, being a territorial animal, will keep the environment clean from rodent and snake infestation.
The cats who have been abandoned or got lost must also be spayed and the goal is to find new homes for them or to continue to take care of them in the street.
Since the days of ancient Egypt the cat has been living alongside human beings, with a fertile and important ecosystem shared between them.
Humans need the cat population and vice versa.
So how do we change the reality, for both the cats and human beings?
We can change the reality by establishing and operating high quality and professional veterinary centers, at affordable prices, which will focus exclusively on spaying and neutering.
This activity has been proven to be extremely effective in the United States in reducing the overpopulation of cats.
The first Spay/Neuter Clinic is being built in Ashkelon (40 miles south of Tel-Aviv), and will start to operate on January 1st, 2017!!!
The cats in that part of Israel suffer even more, since it is close to the border with The Gaza strip where the political situation is not stable and the population in this region has lower socio-economical state.
It will be the first of its kind in Israel and will essentially be a prototype for 9 additional centers across Israel in the next decade. Establishing designated spaying centers across the country will help this vision become a reality.
The Vision: every cat in Israel will live a quality life and will be wanted wherever he lives – at home or in the community (on the streets)
The Task: to reach a state where every cat who is born will be welcomed and treated to a high quality of life for the rest of his lifetime, whether at home or in the community. We would like to reach a state where there is a complete balance between human beings, the environment and the cats who live amongst us – for our sake and for the cats’
Methods of Action: establishing spaying/neutering clinics of the highest quality, exclusively for cats, which will conduct spaying procedures at cost or free of charge.
The professional model was studied in the US, one of the global leaders in the field, and will be adapted to the local circumstances in Israel by the top local experts.
The operation is based on a clear and successful business model, in order to ensure sustainability and continuity without the need for further investments following the initial one.
The operation will be modelled after similar clinics in the US, which have led to a breakthrough in the drastic decrease in the birthrate of cats that were born into a world in which they are not wanted and therefore live a short and miserable life full of suffering.
These clinics have been operating successfully for approximately 15 years and the business model on which they are based is working very efficiently. We will be establishing the clinics in Israel with the professional cooperation of the leading organizations in the field in the US.
“FixNation” and “Humane Alliance” are the American Animal Welfare Organizations that we work closely with in order to make the change in Israel.
We are not inventing the wheel – only implementing what is already working in an optimal way.
The uniqueness of the venture is in that it is:
- Goal oriented (spaying exclusively for cats, in high numbers and in excellent quality, which will set an example to others),
- Characterized by cutting edge professionalism in Israel – the venture will be operated by the leading professionals in the field of cat treatment in Israel, with the professional backing of FIX NATION Non-Profit from the United States fixnation.org
- Operative efficiency alongside with focusing on maintaining the cats’ wellbeing.
- Providing general support to cat-lovers (of privately owned and ferals)
- Free spaying/neutering for feral cats
- Affordable prices: an average cost of 100 NIS (25 USD) per spaying. The market price of between 250-400 NIS (80-100 USD) is preventing many people from spaying, which again and again is contributing to the overpopulation.
- The center will also provide vaccinations, microchipping and treatments against fleas and parasites and will supply food and accessories, at low and affordable prices.
- Maximum economic efficiency: the model on which the center’s operation is based is completely business driven and will therefore be self-sufficient and will not require additional funds from external sources.
We need you as our partner, in order to make Israel a better place for cats and the ones who care and love them.
Ms. Riva Mayer