Kitten Street Team & Volunteers Build Shelters for Feral Cats
On October 14, the dedicated members of Dakin’s Kitten Street Team (KST) hosted their 4th annual feral cat shelter building event. The effort is critical for the KST’s goal to provide warm shelters for ferals as the frigid winter months head our way.
Adult feral cats never adjust to being indoors, due to lack of socialization and no experience living as a domestic pet. Their home is outdoors, and they want to stay there, even as the cold weather advances. Recognizing that the KST gathers each year, joined by other volunteers, and everyone spends several hours working together to build the insulated shelters.
The outcome was remarkable, with nearly 40 shelters built that day. In advance of the gathering, a Dakin Facebook request was posted asking people to contribute Gorilla Tape and insulation (key building components) toward the effort, as well as a link to our wish list.
Anna, a member of the KST who also hosted the shelter-building event, was pleased with the results. “We are so grateful!,” she exclaimed. “In three days, 50 rolls of Gorilla tape, along with other needed supplies, were donated. We use A LOT of that tape to build cat houses so it was jaw-dropping amazing to receive it all!” In addition to the items donated, $600 was raised for additional supplies.
The KST responds to calls that come in from the public identifying locations of feral cat colonies. The Team travels to the spots, uses humane TNR (trap/neuter/return) techniques to bring the cats to Dakin for spay/neuter surgery to help curb their population, and then returns the adults to their outdoor colony site. Feral kittens who can be socialized stay at Dakin to be cared for and adopted out.
Anna continued, “We always talk about how much these shelters mean to the feral kitties. Well, it means a lot to us too. For us, it’s not enough just to spay or neuter them. We encourage callers and caregivers. We reach out to neighbors to feed and care for the cats and educate them on how to do so responsibly. Providing shelters is just an extra step in helping people care for their community cats. And this helps our own well-being, knowing when we walk away, the cats will get a meal every day and have a warm place in the winter to rest. Thank you to volunteers, to donors, and to those who support feral cats.”